Nov 242017
 

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the day that small businesses in Salem and all along Main Street USA really look forward to: Small Business Saturday. First observed in the United States on November 27, 2010, it is a day when communities of shoppers are urged to support the convenience of driving or even walking to their local brick & mortar businesses, instead of fighting the crowds at faraway over-crowded malls.

That kick-off Small Business Saturday was sponsored by American Express, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and Roslindale Village Main Street. Since then it has grown into a nationwide event, with an estimated 112 million consumers reported to have shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2016.

Shopping Local Is An Experience

Small Business Saturday is so great,” explains Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets, “because it’s not just about the shopping or the things – though with over 200 locally-operated storefronts in downtown Salem, there’s certainly no shortage of gifts and treats to be found! Instead it’s more about the experience of being part of a community, the feeling you get when you’re in a locally-owned business that simply can’t be replicated in a box store or online.”

You can walk into a locally-owned Salem store and actually speak to a clerk with product knowledge of items in the store. Or just as likely, you can chat with the store owner! Ever talk to the owner or even manager of a big box store (unless to complain)?

Adds Elizabeth Rutledge, EVP of Global Advertising and Media at American Express, “People across the country are aware of the benefits that small businesses can bring to the community, and the momentum that was started with the first Small Business Saturday continues to build.”

That is backed up by the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. Among U.S. consumers who went out and shopped in-store, total reported spending reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants in 2016.

You will be in good company.

So, a word to the wise, relax on Friday and Monday. And make Saturday your day for walking out of Salem stores with good deals for your holiday and other gift giving needs!

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Mar 252017
 

Mayor Kimberly Driscoll of Salem MA has proclaimed March 26, 2017 as Salem Women’s History Day to go along with other nationwide events this month to honor the achievements of women, past, present and future. In keeping with that proclamation, there are events to inform, educate and entertain the community and visitors. Among them on Sunday are:

House of Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables will commemorate Salem Women’s History Day with a special women’s history tour and two lectures with speakers from the Partnership of Historic Bostons.

Women’s History Tour of The Gables—Free for Salem residents and members; regular admission applies to all others. (12:30 – 1:15 pm)

The Hidden Domestic Lives of Puritan Women: When you read the spiritual narratives of 17th-century Puritan women, it’s remarkable to realize that they are very like men’s narratives: completely focused on the search for grace. Women’s narratives mention family as rarely and perfunctorily as men’s narratives do. These were women raising children and creating homesteads in new colonial settlements, where the domestic labor was unceasing. How did these women live both as independent spiritual seekers–the first American individuals–and as wives and mothers? Free. (1:30 – 2:30 pm)

Katharine Gibbs: Trailblazing Woman in Business: Katharine Gibbs’ secretarial schools provided educational opportunities for women beginning in the early twentieth century and helped to change the face of the American office. Learn about this fascinating woman and the changing roles of women and work. (2:30 – 3:30 pm)

Women’s History Tour of The Gables—Free for Salem residents and members; Regular admission applies to all others. (3:30 – 3:45pm)

All events are available on a first come, first served basis. Registration is not required. Space is limited. For more information email groups@7gables.org, or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Phillips House

You are invited to be the guests of Phillips House staff for a day of special guided tours focusing on the role of women who specifically lived at 34 Chestnut Street through the years. How their lives differed and had similarities is a fascinating time travel trip.

The tour is free of charge for Historic New England members and Salem residents.There is a nominal fee of $5 for nonmembers.

Tours are available on the half-hour. Registration is not required. Please call 978-744-0440 for more information.

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Mar 032017
 

Did you notice a larger than usual crowd walking about Salem this evening? It will get even bigger as the 10th annual Salem Film Fest gets underway.

Regarded and highly respected as one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, it presents a rich and diverse collection of the year’s best work from all over the world.

Film screenings take place March 3-9 at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), and the National Park Service Visitor Center. The schedule and full breadth of the week-long events can be viewed at salemfilmfest.com. Attendance at this year’s screening is easily expected to surpass last year’s record setting 6,000+ viewers.

Salem Film Fest concentrates on well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches, letting narratives unfold that wind their way through the human experience in the USA and foreign lands. Many of the films represent a US, East Coast or regional premiere. Filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, giving audiences a unique advantage to learn about the documentary process.

SFF 2017 offers a diverse schedule of feature length and short documentaries, parties, discussions, meet-and-greets, family-friendly screenings, student film showcases, and opportunities to meet visiting filmmakers in intimate settings.

Each film provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the encounters of others in a dramatic and sensory way, embarking upon what is different and recognizing what is common to us all. “The world is an amazing place,” is an oft worn but timely phrase. Salem Film Fest affirms that travel quote for your eyes and ears to behold. And some films may strike that ‘responsive chord’ that can change your life forever.

Again, go to film titles and times for full list of options to see.

Salem Film Fest was founded in 2008 by filmmaker Joe Cultrera (HAND OF GOD), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community. Run and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become a community-wide event with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center with filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown. Fueled by great films, dedicated volunteers and enthusiastic audiences, festival attendance has grown 15 to 25 percent each year.

Accept our invitation to see the world up close and personal.

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Feb 162017
 

Valentine’s Day may be a once & done holiday elsewhere, but in Salem it can be a year round experience, and that is not just our opinion. The National Main Street organization annually selects the “Most Romantic Main Streets” from among its nationwide membership and for 2017, Salem Ma and Salem Main Streets made the Top Five!

Emily Wallrath Schmidt, Associate Manager of Communication of National Main Street Center explains “Communities submit a questionnaire about their Main Street’s ‘scene’ (architecture/landscape), dining/lodging options, and popular places for dates, along with 5 photos.”

“We always look for Main Streets that have interesting local businesses or special event to highlight! We loved Salem’s So Sweet Festival, as well as the LGBT and age-friendly initiatives—the photos submitted also captured a sense of romance downtown,” she adds.

Not to mention participating merchants offering sweet deals during the festival and of course the option to explore our cool ice sculptures makes for a great second Valentine date!

Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager comments, “I personally think Salem is such a romantic city, and I think a lot of our residents and regular visitors recognize that.”

Why else would so many people look forward to holding and attending weddings throughout the year here?

“From the historic beauty and stroll-ability of the city design, to the natural beauty of our surroundings, the endless community activities every day of the week, to dining options for every palate…it’s really the perfect setting for any love story,” concludes Kylie.

That’s the goal, Schmidt states, “Main Street organizations address all the critical factors that impact quality of life downtown, and align resources to make a difference– enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and environmental sustainability of a community.”

So, February 14th or June 14th or even during October, we, at Salem Main Streets strive to make our city and especially downtown district an anytime destination for fun and romance.

And thanks for the award! We love it!

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