holiday shopping

Shop Small, Shop Local in New Haven this Holiday Season

If you still have items to check off your holiday shopping list, look no further than the Elm City.

Businesses here hope you’ll support them in stores or online to help make up for the many tough months of the pandemic.

From hand crafted care packages, “just to brighten somebody else’s day and I feel like that’s what it’s all about right now,” explained Kimberly Pedrick, owner of the women’s clothing boutique idiom and lifestyle and home gift store dwell New Haven.

To curbside delivery, “We are doing contactless curbside so we can leave something at the door for you,” said Matt Fantastic, co-owner of Elm Street Games.  

New Haven retailers are going above and beyond this gift giving season.

“Our local business community is doing everything possible to make this a safe and enjoyable shopping season,” said Executive Director of Town Green Special Services District Win Davis.

In turn, they hope you’ll shop local during this historic holiday season.

“It’s been different this year and we’re so grateful to be here and to be operating, but it’s certainly been slower for us,” said Teah Muller, whose family owns the historic Merwin’s Art Shop on Chapel Street.

If it’s not the unique items that draw you downtown, there are incentives for shopping throughout the city.

Experts say the holiday season should not become a financial burden for families.

“The community is going to need everyone’s support to get through this,” said Davis.

So while we can’t do much traveling this holiday season, almost 40 New Haven stores hope you’ll take advantage of the city’s Passport holiday shopping promotions program.

Spend at least $25 at four different featured locations and you’re entered into a drawing.

“We so appreciate everyone shopping local. It is always appreciated, but this year more so than ever it definitely will make an impact and keep us all here into the coming new year,” said Pedrick, whose stores are participating in the Passport program.

There's also free gift giveaways and exclusive business promotions for families who take socially-distant photos with Santa Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in front of the Shubert Theatre.

And if you’d rather fill a shopping cart from your couch, New Haven city leaders have set up a virtual marketplace too, a database to browse even after the new year.

Soon they will even feature businesses that don’t have storefronts on their social media pages.

“They don’t have access to a lot of foot traffic so we’re going to create that for them virtually,” said Cathy Graves, deputy director of Economic Development for the city of New Haven.

Also, make sure to check out shopping in the Westville neighborhood.

So while the most wonderful time of the year may be masked, New Haven stores still hope to make those you buy for merry.

“You don’t have to go to Amazon for everything because we have it right here in New Haven,” said Davis.

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