AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Small Business Saturday this year, in the midst of a pandemic, is not about driving the masses downtown for one day. It’s really an invitation to shop small, shop often, and shop local through the holiday season and beyond.
Waynesboro and Staunton are offering new initiatives to keep people shopping and supporting downtown.
“So many people are still staying home, and with the rise of COVID cases you know they don’t want to go out shopping,” Jennifer Ledford, owner of Initial Inspiration, said.
“We’re not able to have the large events, the large gathers,” Staunton Downtown Development Association Director Greg Beam said.
It’s the same story with businesses across the commonwealth, and Shenandoah Valley-area businesses have pivoted.
In Waynesboro, they’re launching Thirsty Thursdays in December.
“We will have spiced cider, extended shopping hours,” Ledford said.
Several merchants donated prizes for a drawing, and shoppers can go to those businesses now through December 3 to sign up.
“Really doing more for our customers because they’re the ones that shop small and really make a difference for us,” Ledford said.
Folks can continue to enjoy an outdoor meal in Staunton with Dine-Out in Downtown, as well as shop.
“They all are prepared to open their doors and be ready to greet customers as they come in safely into their various businesses,” Beam said.
The Staunton Downtown Development Association is aiming to provide a safe alternative to shopping in-person with an online directory.
“It’s been a rough year for everyone, but we’re going to continue to need that support and those customers as we move into the coming months even,” Beam said. “The shop small messaging isn’t just one day it’s much bigger than that.”
Information for Staunton’s Shop Small event is available on the Staunton Downtown Development Association website.
Registration for Waynesboro’s Shop Small Saturday Prize is open now.
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Staunton Downtown Development Association Media Release:
November 23, 2020 (Staunton, VA) – The Staunton Downtown Development Association (SDDA) is excited for the official start of the holiday shopping season beginning with Shop Small Saturday. This year, Shop Small Saturday is taking place on November 28, 2020 throughout downtown Staunton.
“Supporting Staunton’s small business owners is always a priority, but it is especially necessary during these current times,” Staunton Mayor Andrea Oakes said. “I encourage everyone to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday and throughout the season. I know that I will be!”
Business owners of all kinds will be open and ready to safely help you find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. The SDDA has curated a list of stores that have online shopping, curbside pickup, and gift cards for purchase. This list of alternatives to in-person shopping can be found on our website, linked below.
“It will be more important than ever to Shop Small this holiday season,” said Greg A. Beam, Executive Director of the Staunton Downtown Development Association. “We hope that the resources we provided and will continue to add to throughout the season will help the community shop local and stay safe.”
For more information about alternatives to in-person shopping, holiday parking in Downtown Staunton, or to view a full business directory, visit us at www.StauntonDowntown.org/Holiday-Shopping.