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2 St. Pete events drive shoppers to choose local this holiday season

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Posted at 12:02 PM, Nov 24, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Supporting local businesses is more important than ever this holiday season. We’re now 20 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and some mom and pop shops tell ABC Action News they are counting on every dollar they can rake in.

The weekend of November 27-28, there are two events planned in St. Pete where you can help support small.

The first one is Small Business Saturday on Central Avenue. It will feature 30 blocks of shopping, dining, deals, sales, giveaways and treats along Central Avenue. The event will highlight the 100 restaurants, 75 beverage businesses and nearly 75 retailers along the strip on Saturday, November 27.

The second event is Shopapalooza which features 300 local artists, makers and small businesses on both Saturday and Sunday at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. The event is back after a break in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers of both events know a single weekend won’t be enough to save our small businesses, but they hope it will kickstart a moment to support local.

“Small business Saturday as a small business owner is the most exciting day of the year. In my store specifically, we started planning for this in June,” Misred Outfitters retail store owner Sara Stonecipher said. She added that it’s been a tough year for brick-and-mortar stores competing with online retailers and combating a staffing shortage.

Yet, she’s hopeful this holiday season will give her small business, and others like it, a much-needed boost. “We’re just really hoping people remember that we’re here,” she added. “One of the advantages of shopping local this season is you won’t run into a supply chain issue. You go home with a gift in your hand and you have the peace of mind that you shopped local and it’s under the tree and you don’t have to worry about shipping.”

Ester Venouziou of LocalShops1 is organizing the Shopapalooza event. She expects the event to generate around $1.5 million in sales. “That’s direct money that’s going straight to the businesses and they keep circulating it locally too so the compounding effect is huge,” she elaborated.

Hope Cuesta, the owner of Awakening into Wellness, says you can get something at local businesses that you won’t find anywhere else. “You’re going to find great products, great quality and everything is infused with love and community,” she explained with a smile.

You can learn more about the Small Business Saturday on Central Avenue at: https://explore-central-avenue.com

You can learn more about Shopapalooza at: www.shopapaloozafestival.com. You can follow LocalShops1 and Shopapalooza on Facebook for real-time updates on the event.