11.20.2014

Community Encouraged to Shop Small in Downtown Albany

Downtown Albany Businesses Embracing Small Business Saturday, November 29, 2014, with Exclusive Deals and FREE Parking

ALBANY>> Business owners located in the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) will be offering exclusive deals on Saturday, November 29, 2014, the day branded as Small Business Saturday, immediately following BlackFriday. Free parking will be available all day in the Albany Parking Authority’s Riverfront Parking Garage and on the streets, and those who are in Downtown to Shop Local will also have the opportunity to enter to win two tickets to the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival Honorary Gala, a 6 course dinner and reception, being heldJanuary 17, 2015 at the Albany Hilton.

Now in its fourth year, the national initiative was started by American Express to help small businesses garner more attention and customers. It is estimated that in 2012 $5.5 billion was spent across the country at small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday.

“As incubators of innovation and employment, small businesses play a vital role in our Capital City and across the country,” says Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “Supporting locally-owned businesses is important every day of the year, but Small Business Saturday helps shine the light on the variety of options for those who want to Shop Small and have a direct impact on the local economy.”

Across the country, small businesses continue to have a big impact. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses have provided 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s, and the number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49 percent since 1982. A report shared by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in September 2014 shows that the majority of retail businesses (99 percent) employ less than 50 people, providing 40 percent of the 29 million jobs in retail. The report also details that in New York State alone over 1.7 million jobs are in the retail and restaurant trade contributing well over $85 million in GDP.

“Each year, billions of dollars are spent nationally at small businesses, and the holiday season provides the perfect backdrop to introduce, or re-engage, visitors and residents with Downtown retailers and restaurants,” says Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. “National initiatives like Small Business Saturday allow our District to join a larger conversation, and ensure people understand the multitude of options available in Downtown and the impact supporting local businesses can have on our community.”

To date, 18 Downtown businesses are participating with Small Business Saturdaydeals.  Those included in the Saturday initiative are: Albany Visitors Center Gift Shop, blue 82, Broadway Plaza Liquor, The Capital: American Eatery & Lounge, Capital Repertory Theatre, The Enchanted Florist, Fifth Tier Baking Studio, Fresh & Fly Clothing, Irish American Heritage Museum, Jack’s Oyster House, La Serre Restaurant, Lombardo’s Restaurant, Olde English Pub & Pantry, Pearl Street Pub, Public House 42, Salon 109 and Truman Jewelers.

Full details on promotions can be found at http://bit.ly/SBSDowntown2014. A list of all businesses that will be open can be viewed in the interactive Google map athttp://bit.ly/SBSDowntownMap.

While free street parking is available each Saturday in downtown Albany, the BID has teamed with the Albany Parking Authority to offer additional free parking all day in their Riverfront Parking Garage exclusively on Small Business Saturday. The garage entrance is located on Columbia Street between Broadway and Water Street behind Kiernan Plaza, and has 850 spaces.

"Small businesses are the cornerstone of the City of Albany's Downtown, and Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to support them," says Michael Klein, executive director of the Albany Parking Authority. "To help make it a success, the Riverfront Garage will offer free parking so shoppers can rely on easily accessible parking that is well-lit and properly maintained when they come to Downtown."

More than a day to shop and dine, visitors are invited to stay in Downtown and enjoy the events going on at the three larger entertainment venues. The Secret Garden will be on stage at Capital Repertory Theatre at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM, the Albany Devils have a game at the Times Union Center at 5:00 PM and the Moscow Ballet will perform the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Palace Theatre at 3:00 PM.

Those who visit a Downtown Albany BID business on Small Business Saturday will also have the chance to win two tickets to the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival Honorary Gala on January 17, 2015. Valued at $300, participants can enter to win by sharing a picture of themselves inside a Downtown Albany BID business by posting it to the BID’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/albanyBID), using #SBS518 on Twitter or Instagram, or by emailing the photo to Rebecca Haizmann atrhaizmann@downtownalbany.org. Photos must be taken on November 29, 2014 (Small Business Saturday) and submitted by 5:00 PM Monday, December 1, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by BID staff.

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