We’re quite lucky to have an array of shops and stores to visit throughout Alexandria where we can purchase goods and services from local business owners who call Alexandria home. However this could all change with many businesses across the country closing due to the economic slowdown as a result of the pandemic. That’s why this year it’s certainly more important than ever to show our support for our small businesses here in our community.
Black Friday and Small Business Saturday mark the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. This year we’re challenging you to make an effort to make local small businesses part of your holiday shopping plans. The online big box retailers will always be around, but there’s no guarantee the local mom and pop shops will. For instance, instead of heading to Amazon to buy your pet something, head to one of the many local pet stores including The Dog Store or Passionately Pets in Del Ray or The Dog Park in Old Town. Or if you’re picking up a bottle of wine for a “virtual” holiday happy hour, head to Brut Wine Bar or Sonoma Cellar in Old Town or Unwined in Bradlee Shopping Center or Belle Haven instead of your grocery store.
If you aren’t buying physical gifts this year, consider buying gift cards from local retailers or restaurants instead. With many of these businesses struggling, any revenue that comes in is helpful. Many retailers also will let you purchase a gift card or gift certificate online if you don’t feel comfortable coming into a store yet.
To kick off the holiday shopping season, Visit Alexandria is celebrating small business Saturday by offering free parking at meters, prizes from the Elf Patrol and offerings from nearly 50 independently owned boutiques in Old Town and Del Ray. Here is a list of all the local shops and boutiques participating in Small Business Saturday as well some special deals being offered for the weekend.
Let us know where you will be shopping!
There are more ways to help local businesses as well besides just spending money. For instance, have you had a good experience at a local shop during the last few months? Write a review for them on Yelp, Facebook or Google. Reviews and referral business are the backbone of many small businesses. Also you can tag the shops you’re visiting to help get more exposure on social media. At the same time, be sure to follow your favorite shops and restaurants and engage with them on social media to help elevate their brand.