Holiday shoppers are getting ready to venture out for Black Friday. But this weekend, there’s two ways to celebrate right here in Downtown Naperville. New event, Plaid Friday, is one way the Downtown Naperville Alliance is helping to support its local businesses. You’ll need to keep an eye out for plaid bows at the windows and doors of small businesses and even take part by wearing plaid yourself.
“I just think it’s another fun way to kind of showcase locally owned and operated businesses,” said Danielle Tufano, executive director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance. You can never do too much for the businesses here and especially we want our merchants here downtown to feel like they’re a part of this.”
Like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday has local shops providing special deals and promotions. Downtown business owners are appreciative of the support, especially after a difficult 18 months.
“I think that is 100% the reason why we’re still here, it’s because of the overwhelming support from our local customers,” said Chris Mason, owner of Allegory. “Last year we were down by about 35 percent and I see it. Last month and this month it’s coming back to 2019 revenue numbers so we’re really happy about that,” said owner of Pinot’s Palette, Pam Bartlett.
“I think that businesses are starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel which is wonderful so anything that the Downtown Naperville Alliance can do to support them and help get them through that last mile to get to the end of the tunnel we’re happy to do,” said Tufano.
Since the pandemic began, there have been more than a dozen new businesses that have set up shop in downtown. Tinker Children’s Boutique is one of them. The store opened just last month. “This is a first time venture for me so there’s definitely nerves there already but we felt comfortable,” said owner of Tinker’s, Dani Spangler. “We kind of tried to wait for the right time when we thought people would be ready to come back into stores.”
Shopping small helps the community by keeping more money circulating in the local economy. “Everybody understands that we’re all here to survive, we’re all here to build this environment, and make this a shopping destination.” said Tufano.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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