Like everything else this year, the mad commercial rush following Thanksgiving is shaping up to look a whole lot different than the usual. Major retailers have been spilling out deals for over a week already and digital door-busters preempt the need to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn Black Friday morning. Moreover, local shops and community business development associations that have already pivoted to a strong online presence have found they’re now perfectly suited to digital events like #SmallBizSaturday and #CyberMonday.
Here are just a few of the places you can score some epic deals while staying safe and keeping your dollars in the Westchester community.
With so many boutiques and shops hit hard by the pandemic, local personal shopper and image consultant Kendra Porter has created an initiative called ShopWestchester to encourage Westchesterites to think small for the holidays. Participating fashion and beauty retailers countywide will offer discounts and shopping incentives. After shopping, save your receipts. Submit them online, and you’ll receive access to rewards redeemable in-store or online. The initiative starts this Small Business Saturday, November 28 and runs through December 31. Find a full list of participating brands online.
One of the county’s biggest cities is going small this year with Shop Small White Plains. Home to a bevy of small and locally owned businesses, the city has put together a massive list of deals being run by local shops, salons, fitness centers, malls, and, of course, restaurants (you’re going to be hungry after all that shopping, after all). Many of these businesses will be running specials online in addition to their in-person offerings, so even if you only plan to shop from your couch cushion, there are plenty of deals to be had.
One of the best things about having so many arts centers, museums, and talented artists in the Hudson Valley is that we have unprecedented access to unique and original artworks and products — and boy do we love showing them off when it comes to gift giving. This year’s holiday boutique from the Rye Arts Center has gone fully online, with dozens of local artists, makers, and regional shops offering everything from jewelry and fine art to handcrafted textiles, keepsakes, and even gourmet edibles. The sale is online already and will continue through December 1, perfect for a little after-turkey shopping from the living room.
The Village of Pelham is home to tons of indie shops and cultural centers, so it’s no surprise it has a ton of #SmallBizSat events all on its own. First up, the Pelham Art Center Art Boutique opened this past weekend with special deals on one-of-a-kind items from dozens of local artists and artisans. For the more investment-focused art collectors, the event also features a gallery of original work by emerging artists, all priced below $2,500. In addition the Pelham Chamber of Commerce hosts Go Green & Spend Your Green, which allows guests to book holiday photos in front of a large green screen — so you can pretend you’re spending the holidays anywhere other than 2020 — as well as join in on a bevy of deals from local retailers.
One of our favorite little one-stop shops for women’s fashion pieces and accessories, gifts, and bric-a-brac, this Ossining boutique offers a double-dose of local goods and handmade gift items each year for the weekend after Thanksgiving. Featuring local vendors selling a variety of products, it’s a great opportunity to find some unique gifts on sale.
Tarrytown’s annual Makers Market at Makers Central will be in-person this year but socially distanced — temp checks at the door and only 20 entries at a time. It’s a great chance to check out incredible artisanal pieces from local makers like “The Hot Potter” Connor McGinn.
Since its rebranding as something of a community center, the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown has filled its storefronts with a plethora of local and independent retailers. Between gift shops, salons, and trendy dining spots like the new Peekskill Brewery Pizza & Beer outpost, even longtime residents will be surprised by the new digs — and sales — on offer.
For a more traditional but still en plein air shopping experience, Cross County Shopping Center will kick off its holiday festivities with its annual outdoor skating rink ($10), Food Truck Market (a la carte), and 44-foot Christmas tree (which, by all accounts, has so far proven to be owl-free) this weekend, along with plenty of sales from the center’s resident merchants.
Ridge Hill’s open-air marketplace is adding a new experience this holiday season: thee weekends of local arts, crafts, and products beginning this weekend at the Art Box. The market will feature photography, paintings, mixed media, jewelry pieces, décor, and more, all from local and regional creators more than worthy of your support.
As always, a brief caveat: This is ‘Small’ Business Saturday; not every Westchester shop is going to be able to put up a fancy website or send you an e-mail blast in advance to tease this season’s doorbusters and biggest deals. Make sure to ask your favorite shops and businesses if they’ll be doing anything special, and spread the word if you want to help them out!