Local leaders and small business owners are encouraging Connecticut residents to support retailers in their communities during the holiday shopping season.
Businesses across the state have faced financial challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic this year and now there is a renewed push for supporting local small businesses, especially virtually, this winter.
On Wednesday, Hartford mayor Luke Bronin and the city's Chamber of Commerce will announce an effort to highlight downtown restaurants and independent retail businesses.
The campaign will begin with a "Home for the Holidays" event on Friday, Nov. 27 from 4 - 8 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Pratt Street. Vendors and stores will be selling items while visitors can enjoy drinks and entertainment. Masks and distancing are required. Free parking will be available at 58 Chapel Street and the surface lot on Asylum and Main.
In New Haven, Market New Haven and the Town Green District are hosting the first Downtown Holiday Shopping Passport, including prize packs with gift cards. Shoppers also have the chance to get free hot cocoa, chocolate tins or designers masks depending on how much money is spent at participating retailers. Free two-hour parking is available at select lots after spending $25 or more in the same day at restaurants or retailers at The Shops at Yale.