Shoppers flood downtown New Haven Saturday at small businesses

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – With the Black Friday shopping rush behind us, the focus of holiday spending has shifted to Small Business Saturday.

Downtown New Haven was filled with bag-toting shoppers Saturday night. News 8 interviewed shoppers who shopped on a small scale.

“You just can’t resist coming to the city center, walking around, and browsing the shops. Sure, you can scroll through the shops, but of course I like to walk down the street and see what all the shops have to offer,” Ann Lumpinski from Milford Say.

“We’ve lived in New Haven for a long time, so we always shop on Church Street. We know it’s Small Business Saturday, so it’s important to us to come out and support our local stores,” says Shopping with daughter Nora said Janina Gilo-Tomkins of .

Small Business Saturday was created to promote small local businesses and boost their sales during the holiday season. Amex reported that shoppers spent more than $23 billion during Small Business Saturday last year and more than $19 billion in 2020.

Four new female/minority-owned stores opened in Elm this year.

Soap-edi opened on Church Street in October. Owner Lucy Ballester said she got the idea for the health and beauty store from her mother.

“It’s my mom’s hobby. She’s Haitian, so she knows all about plants and herbs and all their benefits, so we decided to tell her it shouldn’t be a hobby, it should be something you can help other people with, “she says. “People in New Haven really like us, and they like our products.”

On Audubon Row, shoppers can browse one-of-a-kind items at MININPNG.

Eiress Hammond has been designing clothes since 2019. She opened a storefront in September this year and says she has received excellent support.

“I got 100 replies for the Black Friday sale, which was insane. There was a line out the door,” she said. “When you pick out a handmade item and you say ‘oh, I’m the only one in the world with this piece,’ people love how unique it is and it creates a really cool community.”

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