Jan 102019

Salem Maritime National Historic Site is affected by the government shutdown and is closed until further notice. A number of community members have been asking how to help or what they should know in the meantime, so local partners are working together to fill in the blanks.

Here are some things you can do to help:
  *   Take a walk around the park and pick up litter.
  *   If you see anything in need of emergency attention at the Salem Maritime Site (i.e. broken windows, extensive litter, damage) contact Ryan or Kathryn at Essex Heritage, 978-740-0444, or the staff at Waite and Peirce, 978-744-4319

Some concerned community members have expressed interest in starting up a drive for grocery gift cards and other needs. Federal employees are not allowed to accept cash or gifts, so while the thought is greatly appreciated, please do not organize this type of event.

Visitors in need of information should visit for an up-to-date list of what’s happening in town. For seasonal hours and information, please visit

In case information is needed in person, visitors can be directed to:
  *   Waite and Peirce, 193 Derby Street; Open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily
  *   Salem Main Streets/Salem Chamber of Commerce at 265 Essex Street; Generally open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., weekdays
  *   Please note there are no public bathrooms at either location.

Information and needs will be updated as needed. Please send good thoughts for a prompt end to the government shutdown so that our colleagues can get back to doing their jobs of caring for the country’s first designated National Historic Site.

Dec 312018

Downtown Salem is a special place –  home to top notch retail as well as an amazing restaurant scene, in a city full of rich history and local events for all ages. Salem Main Streets contributes a great deal to ensuring that downtown Salem remains a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining, and cultural destination. While Salem prides itself on having five seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall, and October), it takes a lot of thoughtful work to try to make sure that all twelve months of the year in downtown Salem are sustainable for our businesses, welcoming to our visitors, and mindful of our residents.  This is why we need your help.

Salem Main Streets continues to contribute a vast variety of services to the local community, but we feel like we could do so much more. Our nonprofit organization, and the community as a whole, would benefit greatly from us having the available funds to create an additional part-time staff position to complement our one full-time staff member, but that requires a jump in our organizational budget to be sustainable.  It is also important to us that the majority of our events and services remain free to the downtown community.

We estimate that every $100 donated to Salem Main Streets translates to roughly two hours of work invested into our local community. It may not seem like a lot, but with the added hours, a lot can be accomplished.  Two hours is what it takes to set up the Salem Farmers’ Market every week before it is visited by over 2,000 eager consumers.  Two hours is the length of our New Years Eve LAUNCH! event, where our community rings in the new year together at Old Town Hall. The 250+ local storefronts we serve are essential to the health of downtown Salem, so we try to spend a minimum of two hours every week checking in with them.  We can get a lot done in two hours, but there never seems to be enough of them – imagine what we could do with more! Become a Friend of Salem Main Streets today with a tax-deductible donation.

In addition to individual donations, SMS also has sponsorship opportunities to get your business in front of an engaged local audience. Sponsors can enjoy chatting about their services with shoppers at the Farmers Market, or hand out swag at the Ice Scream Bowl, or have an ice sculpture of their choice at Salems So Sweet. Recent collaborations, like working with our partners at Creative Collective on the Salem Arts Festival, mean that your sponsorship will be recognized more effectively to a broader audience than ever before. Find out more about becoming a sponsor!

Your assistance and donations truly help bring Salem to life. As we reflect on a great year and look forward to the next, it is more apparent than ever that our nonprofit is going to need more resources to keep impacting positive change in the downtown. Donating to SMS or sponsoring our work will help in the effort to keep our astonishing and unique downtown area vitalized for many seasons to come. Thank you for being a part of what makes our community so special.

Dec 142018

Valentine’s Day is a special time to remind people to shop and dine locally. Now in its 17th year in partnership between Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber, Salem’s So Sweet offers local businesses many different opportunities to participate

Option 1: Brochure Listing and “Golden Ticket” 10% Promotion – $50

In celebration of the chocolate weekend, many of Salem’s finest restaurants may feature special chocolate offerings on their menus,including desserts, cocktails, and inventive sauces.  Participating Salem retailers may take part with in-store events and promotions, displays and items geared toward chocolate and Valentine’s Day.  A description of your promotion is listed in the brochure.

The Golden Ticket 10% Promotion allows shoppers who make a purchase at one participating business to receive 10% off a full price purchase at any other participating business.  Restrictions may apply as needed, and for restaurants, discounts can be for food only. This promotion will apply on Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10 ONLY.

Option 2: Chocolate & Wine Tasting Kick-Off event – Free

Location: Colonial Hall at Rockafellas, Friday, February 8, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

This popular tasting event, which sells out every year, features wine, chocolate, and other sweet samplings from restaurants, gourmet food stores, and chocolate shops. We are looking for Salem restaurants /caterers to participate!

Restaurant / Caterer / Package Store Responsibilities:

  • Food must be prepared off-site.
  • Each restaurant will want an opportunity to give people a taste,so please consider this when determining your portion/taste offering. (250 – 300+people).
  • Please provide your own napkins, paper plates and utensils, and sanitizer solution.
  • Promotional materials for your establishment, menus, catering, etc. are allowed.
  • Set-up time is between 5:00-6:00pm.
  • 2 cases of wine or equivalent recommended if bringing a beverage.
  • Each restaurant is responsible for their own trash removal.

Organizers Will Provide:    

  • A 6-foot long table and table coverings.
  • Wine glasses

Option 3: Ice Sculptures – $460 to $875

Order an ice sculpture! Ice sculptures will be built around the downtown area of Salem to help increase foot traffic the weekend before Valentine’s Day.  Make sure to get one near your business! We will coordinate the ice sculpture orders and themes with Ice Effects (contracted company) for you. Sculptures range from $460 to $875. We are lighting the sculptures at night on Saturday, Feb. 9, thanks to Retonica.

Option 4: Sponsor!

We have multiple options to sponsor the festival and make your support visible to the thousands of locals and visitors who attend annually. Contact Rinus Oosthoek at or 978-744-0004 x116 for more information.


If you would like to participate, you can contact for a form, or complete the form online here

Dec 062018

The holidays are here, and Salem is dressed for the season with trees, wreaths, and ribbons. To top it off, over 30 downtown businesses have decorated their windows especially for the holidays.  Judges nominated by Salem Main Streets made the rounds early this week to vote on the best windows.

“We had some truly fantastic windows this year, as always,” said Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director. “We give the judges the freedom to create new award categories based on what they see each particular year – but even then, we didn’t manage to squeeze in all the windows we loved!”

Some award categories highlight good retail design – use of store products or display of a business’ services – or types of design, like most traditional. The Contest Newcomer recognizes businesses with high quality displays who have not previously or regularly participated in the contest. A “Salem Main Streets Shout-Outs” category was also created this year for businesses that ended up on several judges’ final lists and were deserving of recognition.

“I was especially impressed by how much work and detail went into so many of this year’s windows,” said Sullivan. “I encourage everyone to take their time and look closely at the competing windows to see how many fine details went into the trees and tableaus.”

A full set of images can be found online at

Best Overall: Mark Your Spot

            Honorable Mention – Witch City Wicks and Witch Pix

Best Use of Product: Witch City Consignment & Thrift

            Honorable Mention – Pamplemousse and Modern Millie Shop

Best Traditional: Turner’s Seafood

            Honorable Mention – Remember Salem and LightShed Photography

Contest Newcomer: Grace & Diggs and Vampfangs

Salem Main Streets Shout-Outs: Coon’s Card and Gifts, The Happy Sunflower, and Emporium 32



Nov 232018

Local businesses and restaurants are the heart and soul of any city. These businesses attract people with an authentic ambience that big corporations could never replace. They are what make each city unique. Salem in particular is a prime example of how important these local businesses are to the community. Between the rich history of the city, and its unique business and innovative restaurant scene, Salem has established itself as a premier location in the North Shore area. One event that really helps support these local shops and keeping the community presence strong in Salem is Small Business Saturday.

In 2010, small businesses were really hurting from the recession. To help combat the lack of revenue these local businesses were receiving, American Express decided to launch Small Business Saturday. This event took place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday was created to encourage people to “Shop Small” and support their local businesses. The event was a hit, and started gaining momentum nationwide.

One year later, the Shop Small movement continued to gain momentum, and local officials across the country took notice and also started promoting Small Business Saturday. It was also in 2011, that the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of this day and officials in all 50 states began to participate.The local officials were not alone in supporting this movement, because 2011 was also the year business associations, nonprofit trade groups, municipalities, and public officials started to unite by forming a Small Business Saturday Coalition, which encouraged everyone to Shop Small. By the year’s end, nearly 100 corporations lent their official support to this growing movement. 

By 2013, more than 1,400 individuals and organizations have signed up as Neighborhood Champions, who have lead the way by rallying their respective communities by hosting events and activities on Small Business Saturday. The number of Neighborhood Champions have grown annually, and by 2017, there were more than 7,200 Neighborhood Champions across all 50 states. 

 It’s really amazing how fast Small Business Saturday has grown. Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has attracted U.S. customers to spend an estimated total of $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants, which averages out to $85 billion over an 8 day period. This positive result is proof of how important local businesses are to their respective communities.

For a city like Salem, where the community and business presence are strong all year round, Small Business Saturday isn’t just another day to go shopping, it is a time to celebrate the city’s amazing retail and restaurant scene with fellow community members. So come out, take advantage of the free parking (YES, FREE PARKING), and enjoy Small Business Saturday in Salem.