While many bigger retail chains are gearing up for shoppers the day after Thanksgiving, some small business owners in the Villiage of Lewiston are encouraging customers to support the local economy. YNN's Antoinette DelBel explains why a handful of local retailers have decided to open early this Black Friday.
LEWISTON, N.Y. — The sidewalks on Center Street in the Village of Lewiston may not be bustling with shoppers now, but come Black Friday, dozens of retailers are hoping that'll change.
"This year there seems to be more of a movement of shopping local," said Jennifer Pauly, the president of Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce.
Ten small businesses in Lewiston are opening their doors hours earlier than normal to encourage Black Friday shoppers to support the local economy and ditch the big box stores.
"People understand the value of their dollar, and it stretches farther when you spend it in a local business,” said Pauly. “That money stays there in the local community."
"They need our help,” said Joel MacDonald of Lewiston. “The local people are your mainstay. If you get someone from outside the area, it's frosting on the cake."
For the past five years on Black Friday, Angel to Apple boutique owner Jamie Symmonds has been opening her doors at 7 a.m. This year, she decided to get others on board to cater to those customers who don't want to stand in long lines at bigger retail chains.
"I thought for those who maybe don't want to do that and fight the crowds, and get up in the middle of the night and want to actually enjoy their Thanksgiving, maybe can come to Lewiston and shop locally," said Symmonds.
Local merchants in the business district between 4th and 8th Streets are hoping to entice customers by offering special discounts and door-busters.
"All day and into the afternoon, I'm definitely very busy,” said Symmonds. “It's a good day for business."
And if shopping for clothes in the village isn't on your wish list this holiday season, there are some shops, like Lewiston Music that offer alternatives.
"We do everything from lessons in just about every instrument, rentals for school instruments, repairs, and then of course sales for new and used instruments," said Tony Petrocelli, owner of Lewiston Music.
All 10 stores will be opening their doors at 7 a.m. Friday.