The holidays are the busiest time of the year for downtown businesses All Glazed Up, Creative Canvas & Board and Generous Earth Pottery, owner Karen Bressi says.
Bressi said holiday shoppers plus the boost local stores get from events such as Small Business Saturday this weekend make this time of year important to her bottom line.
For many La Crosse retailers, 2016 has been a good year, and they hope to keep the momentum going into the New Year.
At All Glazed Up, where customers purchase and paint their own pottery creations, holiday items already fill the shelves, from Christmas tree ornaments to Santa Claus plates. A lot of customers visit the store as part of a holiday tradition, Bressi said, getting together with friends or family to make some holiday memories.
“We like to push word of mouth that you can make your own gifts for the holidays,” she said.
Small Business Saturday is sponsored by American Express and promotes shopping local on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. La Crosse’s Downtown Main Street has participated for several years, executive director Robin Moses said, providing signs and banners to local businesses to help promote the event.
The event is a good way to remind people at the start of the holiday shopping season to support local businesses. Many stores and businesses in La Crosse will be open for extended hours this holiday, and events such as Rotary Lights also help keep the focus on downtown stores.
The downtown will also host Santa and Mrs. Claus this year, with the first family of the holiday spirit taking up residence in the Doerflinger building starting this weekend and staying there through Christmas. You can visit the duo from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well as 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“We just hope people will take the time to come down and shop,” Moses said. “We want them to support their local businesses.”
Finnottes Nut and Chocolate Shop owner Laurie Finn said her business anticipates being very busy on Saturday and it is always fun to see the downtown filled with shoppers enjoying the holidays.
The event has grown each year, she said, especially for businesses like hers that get busier as Christmas draws near. This year, winter sales are even more important to her business in a year when Valentine’s Day came during Lent.
“It’s bigger than huge,” she said. “The holidays are very much a significant part of our year.”