Traditionally, Thanksgiving weekend has been viewed at the opening start of the holiday shopping season—with tomorrow being known as “Small Business Saturday.”
The North Andover Merchants Association is looking to promote shopping at locally owned businesses. The incoming president of the Association is Andy Firmin.
“As a business association, the North Andover Business Association, we support a stay local and shop locally mentality. And, the whole idea is if we can create the community involvement, if we can get the local community to support our local businesses, it’s the small businesses who are supporting the community through donations to for the PTOs and sports leagues or the senior center. So, we have come up with number of initiatives to help support small businesses during the holiday season, and specifically on Small Business Saturday which is this coming Saturday,” he says.
Current Association President Chris Palermo says one of season’s activities is a game called Merchant Bingo.
“Merchant Bingo is a really fun way to get some engagement with the community. I know that a lot of these promotions get residents excited to visit the stores. What the Bingo cards essentially do is, we’ve had businesses opt in to populate the card, and what they do is, as they shop at these businesses, they get their card stamped, and once they get Bingo on the card, they can then email and send in a picture of their card with their receipts from the local businesses and it gets them entered into a drawing. And, thanks to our sponsor, Pentucket Bank, we have over $500 in gift cards to give out as prizes,” Palermo noted.
Firman adds that they are also including a Secret Santa to the season. “On our website, you can go on and sign up to participate in the town wide secret Santa. You’ll be randomly assigned another resident from town. The only kind of rule, per se, is the gift has to be purchased from a local North Andover business. So again, it’s a really cool idea to help get people in the holiday spirit, help people build that community engagement and awareness, and also support those local businesses who are frequently our friends and our neighbors.”
Tomorrow, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the North Andover Merchants Association is manning a tent in the area of First and Main to answer questions, hand out Bingo cards and help with gift cards. More information is available at NorthAndoverMerchants.org.