holiday shopping

Norwich Leaders Push Local Shopping This Holiday Season

"Unless you want your town to be a ghost town, you have to support locally," said Jeffrey Blayman, owner of Ideal Skate Shop in Norwich.

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City and state leaders are asking people to support small businesses in Norwich this holiday season.

“For every dollar that you spend in your city or town at a local business, 67 cents stays right there," Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said during a virtual press conference with Norwich business leaders Wednesday.

The city's mayor and other officials say it is critical for people to shop local as the pandemic continues to force many small businesses to adapt to a changing COVID environment.

According to Mayor Peter Nystrom, Norwich was awarded a grant that they will use to assist the business community with marketing. They will be rolling out the program in 2021.

The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce has also been helping connect small businesses with resources during the pandemic. They are hosting an outdoor holiday market this weekend.

More information can be found here.

The owner of Small Potatoes, a gift store in Norwich, says she has seen incredible local support during the pandemic. They had their busiest small business Saturday this year.

“So unexpectedly amazing. It almost makes you cry because it is like why now and why me," said Erica Sullivan, owner of the gift shop.

Sullivan says she hopes local support continues. "It is something that can’t just be a pandemic thing. It has to be moving forward.”

Ideal Skate Shop has also seen a boost in customers over the last several months. The owner says despite challenges faced during the pandemic, the local support has been huge.

 “If you like the idea that there’s some businesses in your town you have to support them," said Jeffrey Blayman, owner of Ideal Skate Shop.

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