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Shop where the locals shop this holiday season

4th December 2017   ·   0 Comments

Photo courtesy of Harley London (

Photo courtesy of Harley London (

By Nayita Wilson
Contributing Writer

There’s a reality in New Orleans: When tourists come to town, many want to “eat where the locals eat.” As the local economy strengthens and diversifies, it appears that small and minority-owned businesses are pushing for “shop where the locals shop” to become the next mantra that arises from the city and surrounding areas. What better time to do it than the most wonderful time of the year?

Launched by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday — the day after Black Friday—is now a nationally recognized day that encourages patronizing local small businesses in cities across the U.S.

“Study after study shows that dollars spent at independent business have up to three times the economic impact than dollars spent at a national chain,” said Meredith Cherney, program manager at StayLocal!, a New Orleans-based business alliance dedicated to supporting local, independent businesses.

“Local businesses also create more jobs and because they are owned by our neighbors who are emotionally and financially invested in our city, these businesses protect New Orleans’ diversity and give it its unique flavor,” Cherney said.

StayLocal! is one of the organizations driving the Small Business Saturday campaign in New Orleans. The organization also surveyed 100 independent businesses from various industries for the Stay Local! 2017 Report: New Orleans Independent Business Trends and gathered data on Small Business Saturday’s impact on local businesses.

Retailers accounted for 27 percent of the respondents. Among the retail respondents, 74 percent indicated that participating in Small Business Saturday had a positive impact on their sales. When comparing annual holiday sales from 2015 to 2016, 55.4 percent of respondents reported an increase in sales. Sales declined for 41 percent and were flat for 4.5 percent.

Nationally, American Express reported receiving surveys indicating that an estimated 112 million consumers shopped on Small Business Saturday 2016 and spent about $15.4 billion in retail and dining.

This year, many New Orleans small, minority-owned businesses are offering enticing offers to increase sales throughout the 2017 holiday shopping season.

Adele London is director of business development at Good Work Network, which helps minority and woman-owned businesses launch, grow and succeed. She also emphasized the importance of small businesses in the local economy.

London said, “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us to refocus and concentrate our buying power on our everyday lifestyle businesses. It also makes us aware of how critical small businesses are to job creation and economic stability in our neighborhoods. Every Saturday is small business Saturday where we have the opportunity to purchase small, which is really big business.”

West London: West London offers apparel that models Europe’s sense of modesty with feminine, romantic and dramatic flair. Boutique shoppers looking for unique, quality women’s apparel will receive 25 percent off Small Business Saturday purchases at West London, 3956 Magazine Street in New Orleans. The boutique will also have champagne and small bites on site for customers. Website:

NOLA Therapy Room: On the west bank of Jefferson Parish, NOLA Therapy Room, 2800 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, La., will offer gift card bundles for spa services on Small Business Saturday. During the holiday season, NOLA Therapy is offering its Spa Day Package at $149 (regular price $189). The package offers 90-100 minutes of spa services, which include a signature foot soak, mini facial, 50-minute massage and a sugar foot scrub. Website:

Sénica: Sénica, a New Orleans–based online retailer of natural hair and skin care products, will roll out a VIP list for existing clients who will receive special promotions and product bundles. The company is also offering its shea moisturizers in bundles of three, which can be gifted individually or as a set. The bundle retails at $50. Some of the scents available include Lanbéli, Lavender Mist, Sweetness and KoKo Kwém. Website:

Harley London: Shoppers seeking “eco-conscious” products will find fine wooden products such as custom lapel pins for sororities and fraternities for $25. Harley London also offers New Orleans themed Christmas ornaments for $12-18 and is the only vendor authorized to make cuff links and coasters to commemorate New Orleans’ tricentennial, according to Harley London leadership. All products are manufactured in New Orleans using a combination of certified sustainable and indigenous Louisiana wood. Website:

A Tisket a Tasket New Orleans Books & Gift Baskets: Imagine on Christmas Day a child opening a book that features him or her as the main character. Personalized Christmas, sports, ballerina, or other themed books can be purchased and printed as keepsakes at A Tisket a Tasket New Orleans Books & Gift Baskets, 910 Decatur St. in New Orleans for $19.95. Turnaround time is one hour. Website:

This article originally published in the December 4, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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