If the idea of stampeding hordes crushing their way into big-box stores isn’t your style (and face it, you choose to live in New Orleans, so it’s probably not), the local retailers around the city invite you to come spend Saturday afternoon with them, supporting the local economy instead of sending money out of the state or country — and they’ve got their own perks to offer if you decide to join them.
“Small Business Saturday” is the local pushback to the Black Friday feeding frenzy, and independent New Orleans shops will be offering their own specials and discounts alongside the local charm and knowledge you can always find in local businesses.
A full list of participating businesses and their Saturday discounts can be found at the website of StayLocal, the independent business alliance in New Orleans. For example, discounts can be found on new bikes at The Bike Shop on Freret Street or books at Tubby & Coo’s in Mid-City — if you bring a receipt from another local business.
At Octavia Books, local authors like Michael Tisserand and Susan Larson will be volunteering as booksellers, offering recommendations and signing their books.
“StayLocal is offering New Orleanians lagniappe for shopping small by hiding American Express gift cards at four local businesses around the city for lucky customers to find,” according to a news release from StayLocal, which will be posting clues on its Instagram account. “The shops include Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Bookshop (631 N Carrollton Ave.), Cupcake Fairies Bakery (2511 Bayou Rd), Uptown Needle & Craftworks (4610 Magazine Street), and ROOT’s pop-up at The Market on Magazine and Sixth (2855 Magazine Street).”
As part of the event, Roux Carré at 2000 Oretha Castle Haley will also feature a “Makers Fair,” where local entrepreneurs will be offering their wares alongside live music, food and drinks. Dat Dog on Freret and Magazine Street and Palmer Park on South Claiborne will both be hosting holiday art markets as well.
Participating in Small Business Saturday should bring a more pleasurable holiday shopping experience, since the retailers are always happy to offer their expertise with their customers. It also helps the local economy, because small, independent business owners use other local suppliers and spend the money they earn in New Orleans — creating jobs, funding city services through taxes, and contributing to the development of their shopfronts, explained Meredith Cherney of StayLocal.
“If you spend $100 on Amazon, about $2 cycle back to the community,” Cherney said. “However, if you spend $100 at a local business, $48 cycle back to the community. When you shop on Amazon all you get is what is in the box.”