Shopping local for the holidays takes a certain amount of creativity.
Most of the world’s 2 billion websites aren’t going to be very helpful (as if they would be, anyhow), so as Small Business Saturday arrives in a few hours, it helps to really know the people you’re shopping for.
The Cortland County Chamber of Commerce wants to help, with promotions from dozens of businesses the day after Black Friday — and many of them will gladly offer curbside or drive-through pickup, website sales and gift cards (which may seem like cheating, but try wrapping a zero-radius riding lawnmower.)
“If you’re looking to shop online, you can do that here,” chamber President Bob Haight said Tuesday. Many of the participating shops offer that, or will deliver a gift card or certificate.
Others offer you an online catalog, like Arnold’s Florist in Homer, where owner Jean Quinn chatted Tuesday between assembling a bouquet of roses and selling a large ceramic tree ornament. Or perhaps it was a cookie jar.
“People are ordering for no-contact delivery,” Quinn said. “We’re doing curbside service. We’re doing all that. We’ve doubled sales from last year, which is great.”
Expect poinsettias to be big this year, she said. Perhaps it’s because people want to give living things in a season with the pall of COVID-19 hanging over it.
Gift cards are going to be hot at CNY Farm Supply in Cortlandville, owner Tim Law said. Maybe it’s the buy-one, get-one offer today. But it’s easier to wrap than a service of one’s lawn mower.
“With this COVID thing, we weren’t sure we would do it,” Law said Wednesday. “But we are, for the first time, offering drive-through.”
So rather than risk crowding in a store, a clerk will sell you a gift certificate right at your car window. If you want to step in, Law said, a leaf blower, chain saw, tools or the collection of toys might be appreciated, depending on whose stocking you’re looking to stuff.
“We have a ton of stuff to offer,” Law said, but his biggest selling point is that it’s a family-owned, local business, so the profits stay in town.
And that’s the point of Small Business Saturday, Haight said. “Let’s not forget supporting the businesses that have been supporting us all this time.”
So your loved one might appreciate an oil change. That’s available locally. Or maybe a piece of local artwork, or food. Golf — clubs, accessories, cart deals or memberships. They’ll be available Saturday. Or maybe a certificate for auto detailing, less romantic than jewelry, perhaps. But both are available.
And what to get for the person who has everything? Someplace to put it — self-storage units are taking part in Small Business Saturday, too.
Small-Business Saturday: The participants
Dozens of businesses are taking part in Small-Business Saturday. Here’s the list:
Arnold’s Florist of Homer
Bev & Co
Cinch Art Space
CNY Farm Supply
Doug’s Fish Fry
Floristry by Ithaca Flower Shop
Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill
Meraki Skin Co.
Olde Homer House
Robinson Family Jewelers
Shaw and Boehler Florist
The Cortland Flower Shop
The Local Food Mart
Vine Health & Fitness
Walden Oaks Country Club
Willowbrook Golf Club
Royal Motor Co.
Asthma and Allergy
Red Fox Run Bed and Breakfast
Reake’s Country Goods
Neil Casey’s Farm Market
Valley Self Storage
Bushy’s Pro Shine
CNY Living History Center