Nov 272015

Small BizLSandwiched between Black Friday on 11/27 and Cyber Monday on 11/30 is a key day for merchants and consumers in Salem and many towns along the North Shore— Small Business Saturday on 11/28.

For one day a year, an extra spotlight is focused on merchants along the main streets of America to entice customers to check out the products and services available. So there is no confusion, Small Businesses on Washington Street, Front Street, Essex Street, etc. will not live or die by the traffic on Saturday. There is more at stake than just revenue.

It is a day for you, as a customer, to not just window shop but take a few minutes to actually walk through stores and peruse the inventory. Familiarize yourself for future references & shopping.

Many stores on Small Business Saturday will be offering sales, discounts, give-a ways and other “value” offers.

It is even more so a day for owners to take the extra time to connect with their customers. Inspire you to emotionally invest in an owner’s dream for the business. This is something big box stores can’t do.

Stop in and discuss:

  • The latest releases with Larry at Harrison’s Comics & Collectibles
  • The finer points of croissants with Melita at Melita Fiore
  • Which type of yarn you should use with Ana at Circle of Stitches
  • The right equipment for your bike with Dan at Salem Cycle
  • The perfect holiday party dress with Erica at Ocean Chic Boutique
  • Which bestseller you should read next with Denise and Taylor at Wicked Good Books
  • “Why is your coffee ice cream so darn good?” with Christiana at The Salem Screamery
  • ….the list goes on and on and on!

Connect with the people behind the businesses in your community. They are a part of your community, not just a piece of real estate that is open from 10am to 7pm. Perhaps this is also what Small Business Saturday is all about. Find out for yourself.


Community Events Make Salem Perfect Holiday Destination

 New Businesses, Salem Event, Salem Festivals, Salem Shopping  Comments Off on Community Events Make Salem Perfect Holiday Destination
Nov 282014

…And you thought Halloween was busy in Salem. Today and tomorrow we have several events to lead off the winter holiday season in style.


In search of the perfect, unique little gift that says “I put some extra effort and didn’t just drive to the mall or walk into a giant department store?” Look to Old Town Hall in Derby Square where today (11/28/14) from noon to 9 pm will be an Art Market, courtesy of the Salem Collective of Artists & Musicians, the Salem Arts Association and Marrow.

There you will discover handcrafted items such as paintings, fiber arts, glass, pottery, jewelry and more. These works of art are created by local artists.

But that’s not all, later from 7-11 pm will be a Holiday Dance with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Salem Food Pantry.


It’s just a tree and some lights. But it is so much more. At approx. 6:15 pm on Nov.28th, Lappin Park becomes the focal point of the city when residents join Mayor Kimberley Driscoll in lighting Salem’s Holiday Tree.

(The Park is the grassy area next to the Bewitched Statue at the intersection of Essex Street and Washington Street— directly across from our still standing Haunted Happenings Visitor Info Booth!).

It is a holiday tradition that lights up not only the tree but the eyes of children in the crowds with awe and delight. So bring the entire family out for carols with the Paul Madore Singers; as we expect it to be a bit cool, there will also be available cocoa and snacks!

Holiday TreeThe event is organized by Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem. This year’s tree is provided in part by a donation from the MeetingHouse Church and numerous donations from Salem’s October visitors. Decorations and lights were made possible by individual contributions and donations from a number of local businesses, including Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast.

Salem Main Streets would additionally like to express appreciation to North Shore Marine and All Star Collision & Towing for their services in delivering the tree, and the Salem Department of Public Works and Gary Gill for decorating the tree.


And you need to put presents under your own tree (if you do a tree). Can’t find what you need at the Art Market? Black Friday shopping may not help you. We suggest you widen your search zone to all of Salem. We are a small business mecca. Almost every store is owned and operated by a small business operator, not a chain. Salem is where you can walk a block in any direction and find unique items for men, women, children and pets.

Saturday, Nov. 29th is Small Business Saturday, a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. To encourage Salem residents to “Shop Local First” this holiday season, Mayor Driscoll has announced that parking in Salem will be free on November 29th in both municipal garages and on Washington, Front and Essex Streets. On November 30th all parking will be free, including at all meters, in both municipal garages, and in all municipal surface lots.

You can drive to the malls, park half a football field away from the stores, and once inside feel like you are on a treadmill forced to walk with the flows of the crowds. Or come to Salem, find convenient parking, and walk whatever way you feel to stores or restaurants. It’s your choice. Really, it’s your choice.

Jan 042014

Small Biz Salem genericYou have been talking about launching your own business for the last year; you’ve been dreaming about it for longer than that. We are of course biased in support of the diverse Salem Ma Downtown District as your future location. So don’t take our word for it. However, Small Business Trends has mapped out the “Top 50 Small Business Shopping Destinations to Visit” and not one but six Massachusetts communities are on it— including Salem:

… retail has become big box stores and moved to strip shopping centers and malls. But there are still communities across the United States that have thriving small business districts where local entrepreneurs abound. We’ve identified 50 of the standouts…”

While the survey may have as its purpose to give shoppers a bird’s eye view of small business friendly destinations, it is also a close-up on communities which are successful incubators for budding owners of such businesses— notably Salem Ma.

From the January 2012 report of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy:

Small businesses continue to be incubators for innovation and employment growth during the current recovery. Small businesses continue to play a vital role in the economy of the United States. They produced 46 percent of the private nonfarm GDP in 2008…”

That could be your business.

And, according to the US Census Bureau Data (2009):

There were 5.8 million employer firms in the U.S. Firms with less than 20 workers made up 89.7 percent of these businesses.”

Salem stands ready to support you. Salem Main Streets. The Salem Chamber of Commerce. The City of Salem. Destination Salem. We are rich in organizations to answer every question and help you along the way. We actively support and work with our businesses through festivals, events, and national activities such as Small Business Saturday.

And then there are the businesses along the Downtown District themselves. Best resources of info. Don’t take our word for it. 2014 is here. Resolve it’s time to stop thinking and time to act on your dream.

Nov 292013

Expect Salem (plus Beverly, Marblehead and a score of communities on the North Shore) to be overflowing with shoppers on Saturday. Small Business Saturday, initiated by American Express in 2010, is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a day for people to show support to local merchants who operate businesses in their communities.

Small Biz SalemIn an effort to encourage Salem residents to “Shop Local First” this holiday season, Mayor Kim Driscoll announced that all parking in Salem would be free Nov. 28 – Dec. 1. This includes all on-street parking meters, City surface lots, and parking garages. Information about parking in Salem is online at

These are some of the busiest shopping days of the year,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Hopefully, by taking this step we can help inspire more Salem residents to come downtown and discover all the great retail shopping opportunities available at our independent businesses and shops.”

Karen Gordon Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration has stated:

Small businesses are the back bone of our communities. And when we shop small, we not only get great products and services, but we support our neighbors and strengthen our local economies.”

She points out that, “Over the last two decades, small and new businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., and today over half of all working Americans own or work for a small business.”

That certainly sounds like the entrepreneurial spirit that drives the business economy in Salem.

“By shopping small,” she concludes “we can help America’s small businesses do what they do best: grow their businesses, create good jobs, and ensure that our communities are vibrant.”

More than 100 million Americans have participated in the Small Business Saturday promotion. Our merchants in Salem invite you to join the party.