Downtown Carlsbad merchants and an organization dedicated to continued economic development at community centers braced for a busy Christmas holiday shopping season at small businesses Saturday.
The Small Business Saturday campaign was created by the American Express credit card company in 2010 to encourage people to shop at local small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, according to the Amex website.
At Perfect Designs on West Fox Street on Tuesday, co-owners Jason and Tiffany Shirley spent the morning preparing custom merchandise unique to Carlsbad that might not be found at the national chain.
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“Anytime you can encourage people to shop locally, a lot of times people are surprised that you can get the same or better quality goods in Carlsbad than you can get elsewhere. It puts money back into you local businesses in their hometown,” she said.
Tiffany Shirley added: “Every penny here goes to support the families the businesses support, so it’s critical for small businesses to have the support of their hometown.”
She said Christmas holiday shopping helped Perfect Designs end the fiscal year on a positive note.
Tiffany said: “Traditionally, most of our retail (business) has been concentrated during football season, so we try to expand the business that really helps us increase retail sales and foot traffic throughout the year.”
She added Perfect Designs, which expanded with carvings, custom mugs, and Christmas decorations.
Christmas shoppers looking for unique or different kinds of gifts may want to shop at the Pecos River Antique Mall on South Canyon Street, owner Gwen Gonzales said.
She plans to have in-store markdowns on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Pecos River Antique Mall has been in Carlsbad for 20 years, and Gonzales has owned the store for 11 years. She said sales traditionally pick up after Halloween and gain ground over the Christmas period.
“Last year has been very busy,” Gonzalez said of Small Business Saturday. “We hope it will be better (in 2022).”
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“I have a one-of-a-kind item that you don’t see in mass production. They’re not mass produced here,” she said.
The Carlsbad MainStreet organization is offering promotions to entice people to shop downtown during the Christmas season, executive director Kat Davis said.
“If you shop at a downtown store and submit a receipt for more than $25, you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes for a Visa gift card,” she said.
Gift cards vary in value, Davis said, “that’s why we decided to run the promotion for almost a month instead of a day.”
“We need to support local businesses year-round, especially during the holidays. We know people will travel on Thanksgiving and we don’t want them to miss out,” she added.
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Contact Mike Smith at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or on Twitter @ArgusMichael.