The Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue BID celebrated Small Business Saturday in style on Sat., Nov. 24 with a complimentary trolley ride for families, and an extra special visit from Santa.
Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday first observed in 2010. Held Thanksgiving weekend and sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday weekend shoppers to patronize brick and mortar and mom-and-pop stores closer to home.
To mark the occasion, Executive Director of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) Amanda Zenteno and her team handed out bags full of special deals along the strip for the big shopping weekend.
The trolley event was used as a means to promote Small Business Saturday, a day of the year, Zenteno said, that is what Fifth Avenue is all about.
“Something like Small Business Saturday is so important because Fifth Avenue is all mom-and-pop shops,” she said, “so when people talk about small neighborhood business – this is exactly what they’re talking about.”
As for the event itself, Zenteno said, “I thought Saturday went very well. We had a packed trolley, we had kids with Santa – we also brought Elmo along. It was a great day.”
Beyond the wonderful weather, Zenteno said the annual event benefited from a partnership this year with Investors Bank.
“We had Investors Bank sponsor the trolley so we had a table out where they were giving out information and goodies,” she said, “and we were next to them doing the same thing for Small Business Saturday.”
She hopes that, for years to come, the calendar day will serve as an encouragement for people to “shop small.”
“Lots of people shop online and lots of people go out for Black Friday but remembering to come and visit your neighborhood store is important,” Zenteno said. “It’s then that you realize that your dollars are going so much further.”
Those dollars, she said, are going right back into Bay Ridge.
“One of the values of shopping local is that the people who own these businesses are giving back to the community all the time,” Zenteno told this paper, adding that she and her team have been working on a “Meet the Merchant” video series.
“One of the things that just keeps coming up in all of these videos is how much these merchants are the fabric of our community,” she went on. “Their kids go to school here, they’re involved in local charities, and they give back.”
All in all, Zenteno said, “their success is Bay Ridge’s success.”