Retail shops and eateries in Warrensburg bustled with activity this Saturday as shoppers took advantage of Buy Local Saturday specials offered by the 32 businesses participating in the Small Business Saturday event. This is the second year The Greater Warrensburg Business Alliance and the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce have joined with local businesses to offer holiday shoppers a alternative to large chain stores. Bright orange “Buy Local Here” signs sent shoppers to independently owned businesses throughout town where they could pick up a Warrensburg Tote filled with flyers, coupons, samples and a Buy Local map.
Warrensburg appears to be experiencing a business renaissance as buildings that have been empty for months, even years, are showing new life. Increasingly, residents are able to avoid a trip to Queensbury and purchase needs and wants in town. This Saturday, fashionistas flocked to Runway 67 to peruse the racks of designer clothing, all available with a Buy Local Saturday 10-percent discount. The store, operated by Tina Combs, opened in town last spring and just moved to its new location next to Luck-E-Star Café on Nov. 1 to accommodate an expanding selection of designer clothes and accessories.
Combs says the Buy Local Saturday business has been good, and overall, her store, which sells deeply discounted designer fashions (most items are less than $20), has been well received in town. Runway 67 regularly holds Girl’s Nights Out, which feature a fashion show, wine and hors d’oeuvres. According to Combs, the fashion social event is very popular, attracting as many as 60 to socialize and pick up fashion tips. The next Girl’s Night Out is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 10, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. and will focus on scarf-tying skills. Girl’s Night Out is held in the store, with clothing racks moved aside to make room for the “girls.”
At Jack’s Liquors, Rachael Putney poured free tastings of Barefoot Bubbly Red Moscato and Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon. “We’ve been fairly busy today,” says Putney, with many shoppers taking advantage of the 10 percent discount offered on anything that begins with B, L or S. Jack’s, located across from the intersection of Main and First Streets, offers a Customer Loyalty Card that gives discounts to regular customers.
In the center of town, directly across from the bandstand, Kiara Lama’s new thrift shop LoTus Thrift, had a steady stream of shoppers for Buy Local Saturday. The shop helps fills the void left by the closing of Perfect Finds, and, years earlier, the Jean Louise Shop. The store, which sells used clothing, jewelry, books, housewares and “unexpected treasures,” offered Saturday shoppers discounts of 20 to 50 percent on select merchandise. Lama said she was pleased with the steady traffic through her shop, and is grateful to organizers Theresa Whalen and Kathy Hill for creating and promoting the event.
Further south along Main Street, P2 Pizza, the town’s newest pizzeria located across from New Way Lunch, included a free bottle of soda with each pizza purchase for their Buy Local Saturday promotion. Free popcorn was flowing at Goody’s Candy Shop and Rebecca’s Florist ran a 50-percent off sale on select jewelry to woo Saturday shoppers. At each Buy Local Business, shoppers were given a raffle ticket, which they could drop in a basket at George Henry’s to be entered in drawings for gift cards and merchandise donated by participating businesses.
Nationwide, Small Business Saturday is in its fifth year. The initiative was launched by American Express in 2010 to encourage holiday shoppers to support locally owned businesses. It has become a powerful movement that is marketed as an antidote to the crass commercialism of Black Friday. Shoppers who do their holiday shopping at small businesses help build local economies and are able to find more personalized items for holiday gift giving.
Next weekend, Dec. 5, 6 and 7, Christmas festivities kick into high gear in the Queen Village of the Adirondacks with the 26th Annual Christmas in Warrensburg. Santa, with his reindeers, will park his sled on the Town Hall lawn. The building will be transformed into a Toyland with gingerbread house decorating, face painting, and holiday crafts for children. Churches in town will be holding their holiday bazaars and Saturday night the town’s folks will gather at the bandstand to sing in the holiday season and light the town tree. For more information about Christmas in Warrensburg, call 466-5497.