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Before Parade, Shop Small

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

Our Christmas Parade’s this Saturday—and, after a Thanksgiving feast and football on Thursday, followed by a “shop till you drop” Friday, you’ll probably want to take some time out before heading to the parade later on Saturday. Here’s something you can do earlier on Saturday, though, that can make a big difference—shop small.

The Saturday following Thanksgiving has become a retail holiday called Small Business Saturday. It was established several years ago by American Express, in partnership with the National Trust Historic Preservation, to direct consumer traffic to smaller businesses. While Black Friday has been given over to big-box stores and malls, and Cyber Monday (that following Monday) is for e-commerce, Small Business Saturday is for supporting the smaller independent retailers—so many of which are part of our downtowns.

The Ave has numerous smaller businesses that can serve you in your head-start on your holiday shopping. Previous columns and articles have been devoted to calling your attention to many of these businesses, as well as the retail clusters of which they’re a part. Whether its jewelry, apparel, electronics, collectables, crafts, recordings, furniture, books, or a wide assortment of other items, you can find them right on The Ave. For a list of retail stores on The Ave, go to our website at theave.biz.

The nice thing about shopping small is that you’re helping out smaller retailers—your friends and neighbors—who’ve struggled during the economic hard times this year. They give you the personal treatment that you often don’t get in the bigger stores. You’re a name and not just another customer. You also can avoid the traffic, long lines, and hustle-and-bustle of the big box stores and the malls. A downtown is the core of a city and this is a great way of making our downtown—The Ave—your destination.

So, head down to The Ave early this Saturday and think big by shopping small.

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Speaking of the parade, it takes place this Saturday (with Sunday as rain date) at 5 p.m., on Landis Avenue. We’ll have COVID-related safety measures in place, including social distancing and wearing of masks or face coverings for spectators and participants. The major sponsor this year will be Century Savings Bank, with Lidl and Newfield National Bank as supporting sponsors. “Peace on Earth” will be this year’s theme, with a contest for the best floats. Registration for participants and vendors has closed, but come enjoy the parade.

NEWS FLASH: If you want to see the parade and Santa lighting the Christmas lights, you can view the parade streamed live, starting at 5 p.m. Check theave.biz for details on the streaming platforms.

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If you and your loved one are planning on tying the knot, don’t miss our Weddings on The Ave promotion, sponsored by Al’s Shoes, taking place all this month. All the wedding-related businesses on The Ave are ready and willing to help you make your big day even more special. Check out the promotion and make The Ave your destination for all those needs—especially on Small Business Saturday.

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On the Ave