Away from the hustle and bustle of Destiny USA and Great Northern Mall, mom and pop shops throughout the region are working hard to promote their own version of Black Friday -- Small Business Saturday.
The city of Oswego is no different. Bill Riley, owner of the River's End Bookstore, has embraced the event since its creation several years ago. His store is hosting two local authors on Saturday, including former political cartoonist Frank Cammuso and award winning author Laurie Halse Anderson.
Shoppers hitting the stores on this Black Friday expect it to be crowded, since there will probably be more people than ever at central New York’s biggest shopping venue.
A year ago, the expansion to Destiny USA was still in its early stages, with storefronts not yet filled. This year, there are 80 or so more stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues than there were a year ago, according to Mall Manager Rob Schoeneck. That’s already meant more shoppers than in the past.
Like all across the nation, Black Friday shopping got off to its earliest start yet in in central and northern New York. Retailers across the region hope the day will be the beginning of a strong holiday shopping season. While a Siena College poll showed that a majority of New Yorkers think stores should not open on Thanksgiving night, store managers said they had good business until the wee hours of the morning Friday.
As national retailers pull out all the stops for Black Friday shoppers, locally-owned stores are promoting Small Business Saturday for the third year in a row. It's part of the growing "buy local" movement, and supporter are asking people to consider taking their business to independent retailers in addition to hitting the mall or the big box stores during the start of the holiday shopping season.
Keeping your holiday shopping dollars local can also boost the economy of Central New York. That's one reason Syracuse First founder Chris Fowler is encouraging shoppers to consider buying local as they head out to stores this holiday season.