Yorkers 'Shop Small' to support downtown economy

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
Owner Kevin Westover, right, of ComplEAT, hands customer Amanda Gearhart, her order during Small Business Saturday at Central Market in York City, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Residents from around the county filled the streets of downtown York City on Saturday, Nov. 24, with shopping bags and Shop Small totes in hand as they made their way around city shops. 

"This area has done a lot to bring York back," said Kelly Olewiler, a York resident. "I try to come as much as I can." 

Olewiler was out shopping with her friend Chris Ness. Based on the bags the two were holding, they had done their share to help money circulate in the local economy, Ness noted. 

In addition to helping the local businesses, Olewiler and Ness said they appreciate the unique goods they can get from the downtown merchants. 

Small Business Saturday in York City, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Olewiler had just picked up a handmade wooden necklace, she said.  

"I'll never see that on someone else," she said. 

The handmade items also make for meaningful gifts, Olewiler said. 

Downtown York businesses have been participating in Small Business Saturday, a holiday launched by American Express in 2010, for six years, said Downtown Inc CEO Silas Chamberlin.

It's one of the busiest shopping days downtown, he said. 

Maureen and George App, from Dover, said they try to come out each year. 

The Apps said they weren't looking for anything in particular but got "heaps of stuff" while shopping Saturday. 

By the time the couple had made it to Central Market about 11:30 a.m., they had already loaded up on bags of goods — including dinner and wine for later that night, George App said. 

The Apps picked up homemade pasta from Tutonis and meatballs from the Saucy Girls. 

Brooke Schwartz, 17, of York Township, takes in a scented candle at this little light of mine during Small Business Saturday at Central Market in York City, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Unlike the Apps, Brooke Schwartz, a 17-year-old from Dallastown, had specific items in mind she wanted to pick up. 

Brooke follows downtown stores, such as Redeux Marketplace and Revolt Style Studio, on Instagram, and saw pieces she wanted to pick up for friends as holiday gifts on stores' Instagram stories. 

"I got what I came for," she said. 

Shopping in Downtown York is about more than just the goods; it's part of an experience, said Barbie Matthie, of Seven Valleys. 

Matthie's first stop Saturday was the crowded Sunrise Soap Co.

She planned on hitting a few more stops throughout the day and tries to come out every Small Business Saturday and First Friday, she said.

Owner of The Boys' Barking Bakery Meredith Lingenfelter, of Camp Hill, bags a customer's order during Small Business Saturday at Central Market in York City, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"I hate shopping, but I love to come down here," Matthie said. "I love the atmosphere and all the different shops."  

Cyber Monday: The shopping "holidays" will continue Monday, Nov. 26, with Cyber Monday deals. 

For shoppers who didn't want to brave the cold on Black Friday or rain on Small Business Saturday, retailers will have deals on a range of items online. 

Amazon is starting its Cyber Monday deals early at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, for customers with an Alexa device, the online retailer announced. Early deals can be accessed by asking "Alexa, what are your deals?" 

Amazon Prime members will also get 30-minute early access to Cyber Monday deals. 

For Cyber Monday, Target is offering 15 percent off most products and free shipping on all items, according to the online ad listed on BestBlackFriday.com.

Walmart did not release an official Cyber Monday ad, but according to BestBlackFriday.com, many Cyber Monday deals are on par with Walmart's Black Friday in-store deals. 

Best Buy's Cyber Monday deals will begin Sunday, with prices slashed on electronic goods and accessories. 

Nordstrom's Black Friday sales, with up to 60 percent off items, are valid through Cyber Monday.