By Mary Heyl
Celebrate small businesses in your community next weekend on Small Business Saturday! Join millions of shoppers across the country who are choosing to shop local during the busiest shopping weekend of the year on this nationally recognized day. You’ll want to get an early start, as there are several communities throughout Cattaraugus County that are gearing up for this exciting day!
The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce is holding its second strOlean on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.! In August, GOACC held its first ever strOlean when many business owners set up in downtown Olean for a full day of shopping, food, music, fine arts, classic cars and more. The event was a huge success, with more than 70 organizations selling their wares or organizing an event at their booth. Small Business Saturday is GOACC’s opportunity to host a winter strOlean that includes the retail establishments on Union Street and its side streets.
Brick and mortar businesses are invited to host an event outside their store (sales table, information table, etc.) and restaurants are invited to vend outside their business. The day also includes a Pop-up Market, in which local artisans, crafters, and those involved with catalogue/home party businesses can set up a booth. Be sure to bring your appetite! In addition to the restaurants on Union Street, strOlean invites other food vendors to bring their best! Who knows? You just might be able to enjoy some chestnuts roasting on an open fire!
In addition to booths on North Union Street, there will also be booth space inside the Olean Center Mall. Meme Yanetsko, COO of GOACC, encourages visitors to check out the Chamber’s website at www.oleanny.com before the event: “We encourage people to download our strOlean program, which will be online—it will indicate the specials and details of participants.”
Erica Dreher, GOACC Membership Outreach Associate, is very excited about this new event. “We want everyone to visit and shop our community with the small businesses that make it special. strOlean and Small Business Saturday celebrate and help you discover small businesses.” For more information, contact GOACC at (716)372-4433 or email email@example.com.
Take a short drive to the city of Salamanca, where there are several unique local businesses to begin your holiday shopping. Hampshire Mills, located at 890 Broad Street, has been participating in Small Business Saturday since it began in 2010. Owner Jenna Zaprowski said, “I think it’s a great program, and we’ve been doing it since it started. People do come out and support small businesses, and they definitely support us!” Hampshire Mills has a wide selection of quality clothing, footwear, gifts, toys and so much more. From Columbia to Woolrich to Ruby Road Sportswear, there’s something for everyone, and on Small Business Saturday, all accessories are all 20 percent off, including socks, hats, gloves, jewelry, goggles, scarves and belts. Hampshire Mills will be open special hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Small Business Saturday.
Looking for a more specific gift that may be difficult to find? You just might be able to find it at the Salamanca Mall Antiques at 100 Main Street. Shop hundreds of vendor booths for that unique collectible or one-of-a-kind piece. Gift certificates are also available. The Salamanca Mall Antiques is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Right across the street, Mongillo Jewelers, at 85 Main Street, has been serving the community for over 50 years. This multi-generational family business can help you with your holiday shopping, and there’s no better time to get started than Small Business Saturday. Shop their great selection of fine jewelry, watches and estate jewelry. Visit Mongillo’s from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
For a full listing and map of area businesses that are participating in Small Business Saturday, visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/. If you are a business owner, be sure to visit the website for your free downloadable Shop Small materials to promote your business on this special day.