NEW HAVEN — In an alternative to the mall madness of Black Friday, a large number of shoppers came to downtown New Haven to participate in Small Business Saturday, a nationwide effort that is gathering momentum.
Buoyed by unseasonably warm weather and sunny skies, consumers came in to enjoy an ice sculptor and roaming Christmas carolers, activities coordinated by the city of New Haven, Town Green District and the Shops at Yale.
Meanwhile, Town Green District intern Samantha Livan was handing out free popcorn at the INFO New Haven Center on the corner of Chapel and College streets. “It started slowly but now we’re starting to see more people, a lot of families,” she said. “Some of them are too busy to stop for popcorn. They’re on a mission. I’m the same way when I shop.”
“We love Small Business Saturday,” said Kimberly Pedrick, who owns the Chapel Street shop Idiom, selling clothing, artisan jewelry and accessories. “It’s got energy and vibrancy. It definitely does bring in an influx of people.”
Pedrick kept a bowl of free cookies by her door and customers making a purchase received a free “Shop Small” bag.