Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. -

Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comSmall Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comPosted: 30 May 2020 05:22 AM PDT More than 40 Lehigh Valley small business owners Saturday will be offering virtual deals on what they say will be one of their biggest shopping sales annually.Small Business Saturday typically is timed for following Black Friday in November. The nationwide effort for the past decade encourages communities to shop local as it kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year.The chamber is moving this year to hold the event twice -- this time with social distancing -- as many businesses struggle to survive financially during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their doors on March 19. Restaurants were then forced to offer menu items by takeout only with curbside pickup or delivery.Lehigh Val…

Small Business Saturday Street Festival and Happy Birthday Gardner Celebration set for June 29 - The Gardner News

Small Business Saturday Street Festival and Happy Birthday Gardner Celebration set for June 29 - The Gardner News

Small Business Saturday Street Festival and Happy Birthday Gardner Celebration set for June 29 - The Gardner News

Posted: 20 Jun 2019 09:20 AM PDT

GARDNER — The city is getting ready for a party and everybody is invited downtown.

While there is an 80-year tradition of a Sidewalk Sale in August, conditions may not be conducive to the event this year as summer road and sidewalk work is planned.

But the Small Business Saturday Street Festival and Happy Birthday Gardner Celebration is set for June 29 and more than make up for it, incorporating the small business day and sidewalk sales. The Gardner News is the media sponsor for this event.

With areas of the downtown blocked off, "We invite people to go into the street and meet your neighbors," Alan Leblanc said, with businesses such as his John's Sport Shop welcoming people to explore the downtown.

It is the first year for the new street festival, he said.

"The last Small Business Saturday was incredibly busy," he said. So it made sense to expand that event, with many activities planned.

"The Small Business Saturday that is traditionally held in November is so important to the business community," said to Square Two Director Patti Bergstrom, owner of The Velvet Goose. "But one day devoted to supporting the locals is not enough. We are so excited about this new festival and hope that everyone will show up and be fabulous. It's going to be a very special day in our downtown."

Celebrating the small and locally owned businesses in the city, the event also serves as a birthday party for the city, which turns 234 this year.

With Main Street and Parker Street closed off to traffic from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. there will be no impediments for pedestrians enjoying the downtown festival. The festival itself will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to downtown businesses, more than 17 other businesses and nonprofits will join the celebration with booths, according to Bergstrom.

People should attend prepared for shopping, entertainment and eating.

In addition to the Ale House anchoring the food court, Bergstrom said there are seven other food vendors that day.

And plenty of other things to do, too.

"And people can picnic on the green space where the Maki Building used to be," Bergstrom said.

"There is great entertainment and a lot of freebies," Bergstrom said, listing several, from apple crisps and ice cream treats to cake to mark the city's 234th birthday.

List of events

The activities include a Square Two itinerary Welcome Tent set up inside of HOPEful Boutique on Pleasant Street, where visitors can get a Cup of Hope coffee, sponsored by Edward Jones Financial Adviser Ryan Laliberte, current president of Gardner Square Two.

Swag bags with donations from area businesses will be given to the first 50 families. The bags contain gifts, samples, coupons and fun surprises donated by area businesses, Bergstrom said.

The Raffle to benefit Holiday Lights will also be set up there.

Square Two put forth a dizzying array of things to do.

Several of the stores plan to host sidewalk sales outside, including Lakin's, John's Sport Shop and The Velvet Goose. Square Two members including Mount Wachusett Community College, GFA Federal Credit Union and Gardner Ten Pins will set up tents for their organization in the square. In addition, several local nonprofits and home-based businesses will be attending.

There will be music in the street as JCB DJ Services will be hosting the festivities. The morning will begin with music from Just Rita, a local entertainer. Boston Piano Kid Bradley James will be downtown from noon to 1:30 p.m., sponsored by Heywood Wakefield Commons. He is best known for his performances in Faneuil Hall and in Fenway Park, but this is his third year performing on Main Street, Bergstrom said.

The Kids Zone, located in the parking lot of Bank of America, will be sponsored by Chair City Church. The huge setup will include bouncy houses, kids games, face painting and characters all manned by volunteers from the church. According to Pastor Dave Tralongo, the youth of the church can earn credits for volunteering at this event and then use those credits toward future trips and activities sponsored by the church, according to Square Two information.

New this year are "Selfie Stations" set up throughout downtown. Moon Hill Brewing will have a wooden cutout that visitors can put their heads through and snap a photo. John's Sport Shop has reached out to the Boston Red Sox and will have some players — or at least their cutouts — that customers can pose with.

The Yoga Tree has a dino in a yoga pose that visitors can do yoga with. The Velvet Goose has hired living statuary to stand with guests in their selfies. Guests can also pose with the Police Department and Wood's Ambulance.

Congresswoman Lori Trahan will participate in a meet-and-greet from 2 to 3 p.m., accompanied by state Rep. Jon Zlotnik.

There will be pottery demonstrations at Studio 4 Potters on West Lynde Street all afternoon.

Festivalgoers may want to visit Parker House of Pizza, which will serve free Happy Birthday Gardner cake starting at 3 p.m. Fidelity Bank will sponsor the Frosty Flyer, which will hand out free ice cream treats midday.

For those who want to experience more culinary options, Red Apple Farm will be selling cider doughnuts, dumplings, pies and more. My Sweet Escape will be selling cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies. And Gardner Friendly's will be serving up ice cream and drinks.

The food court will be set up on Parker Street, anchored by the beer garden at Gardner Ale House. After the success of the recent Food Truck Festival, Maribel Cruz, economic development coordinator for the city, was able to bring in several food trucks for the event including Shane's Hot Dogs, Buen Provecho and Uncle E's BBQ, according to Square Two.

Looking ahead to the fall, for those who enjoyed the June event and want to plan in advance, another festival is planned for Sept. 28.

$673210 Downtown Somerville Alliance Budget Approved -

Posted: 19 Jun 2019 09:00 PM PDT

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The Borough Council has approved the Downtown Somerville Alliance 2019 Operating Budget of $673,210.

DSA Executive Director Natalie Pineiro and Mike Kerwin, DSA  vice-chairman, presented the budget at the Borough Council's June 17 meeting. The vote to approve was unanimous.

The Downtown Somerville Alliance promotes, enhances and revitalizes Somerville's downtown as a thriving commercial district and community-gathering place for residents, shoppers and visitors from Somerville, Somerset County and Central New Jersey.

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Main Street building owners and merchants fund the largest portion of the budget through an assessment that totals $560,000.

Other revenue is derived through ticket sales and sponsorships of special events including Girls' Night Out, the Friday Night Cruisers, Starlit Cinema and others,

Debt Service totals $111,500 with several non-interest and interest bearing loans for parking lot acquisition, maintenance and improvements and streetscape improvements.

Landscaping, replacement of trees, watering, street cleaning services, holiday decorations, seasonal planting services, music subscription service for downtown is budgeted at $97,950.

Events and Event Advertising including the Girls Night Out event, St. Patrick's Day parade, the September Central New Jersey Jazz Festival, Cruise Nights, Summer Cinema, Summer Stage, Small Business Saturday, restaurant and other DSA supported events is budgeted at $91,000.

Marketing and Communication is budgeted at $81,800 and includes marketing and advertising agency expenses, video work, website and Internet expenses and public relations.

The DSA Annual Report to Borough Council, DSA Annual Meeting, Merchant Seminars, Networking, Business Awards, Grand Openings, Trade Shows, print material and Data Collection all fall under the Economic Vitality category budgeted at $34,500.

Management, including salaries, insurance and benefits total $173,000.

Office Support, including phone, organization and association dues, accounting fees, office supplies and equipment, professional development for staff and board members and office rent total $53,820.

There is a contingency budgeted at $29,000.

The Capital Improvement Fund balance is $92,786.08 which includes new banners and brackets throughout the downtown district, $10,000; treescape project, $60,000 and snow removal, $20,000.

The DSA is a non-profit agency with new offices at 50 Division Street.

Further information is available on the website, or by calling the DSA at (908) 524-0104.


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