AP NEWS

Drumming Up, Strumming Up Business

November 25, 2018

Marc Rines, the owner of Music City in Leominster, was one of dozens of local businesses in the Twin Cities to offer merchandise for a song on Small Business Saturday, a national incentive that serves as an extension of Black Friday.

An estimated 67 million Americans left home in search of gifts Saturday, and small businesses helped lure shoppers away from the megastores by lowering prices and offering gift cards. Local shops Music City and Mill No. 3 at 85 Westminster St., in Fitchburg, saw higher than usual traffic and a noticeable uptick in purchases yesterday.

“I like to keep the small lights on,” said guitar hunter Ben Davis, who favors locally owned stores over online and franchises while shopping at Music City, open since 2006. He was one of a hundred or so customers in the Music City showroom.

Rines said that, compared to other Saturdays, the flow of customers was steady throughout the day, thanks in part to “red-tag” items that were as much as 40 percent off the regular retail price.

“Our sale actually runs all week,” he said. “And we are giving a $10 gift card for every $100 spent.”

At Mill No. 3, the narrow aisles between shelves of wines and upscale culinary items was filled with customers who stopped to sample baked goods, specialty oils and vinegars, and compare prices of holiday decorations.

“I come here anyway,” said Patty Rudick of Ashburnham. “I knew they would have wonderful quality of the things I was looking for. I didn’t even realize that it was Small Business Saturday.”

At Gallery Sitka, 454 Main St., Fitchburg, many of the items were 20 percent off, said proprietor Tamar Russell Brown, before announcing the gallery is closing for good on Thursday. The building where her shop is located was sold on Sept. 17 and she did not renew her lease with its new owners.

At DeBonis & Davin Florist at 900 Main St. in Fitchburg, everything was marked down 20 percent.

The 45-year-old legacy business participated for the first time this year in the “shopping holiday.”

“We try to hit as many places as we can,” said Jamie Millett and husband Alan of the deal hunting while shopping at Debobis & Davin.

“It is an incentive (the lowered prices) to get out and look around,” she said while smelling the shop’s flowers.

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