Miracle On Northport’s Main St.
Shoppers and Santa Claus should not be pitted against each other during the holiday season. With Small Business Saturday and holiday festivities simultaneously brewing in Northport last weekend, one store owner decided to spread the seasonal cheer in a different way — in the form of $25 gift certificates to Northport small business owners.
Darin Ann Palmer Parker, owner of the Main Street Café in Northport Village, went to more than 10 stores throughout the village and bought $25 gift certificates from each vendor. Her hope, she said, was to raffle off the gift cards so loyal patrons could use them at their favorite small business stores in Northport village. At each participating store, customers were to ask cashiers for a raffle ticket. Parker would then pick the winners and give them the gift cards.
Parker said she turned to businesses who participated in the American Express “kickback” deal, in which a customer spends a certain amount of money at a small business and the credit card company rewards the buyer with a $10 certificate. She mindfully selected the businesses she purchased gift cards from, Parker added.
“I went to people who really worked hard on their business, and work very hard to keep their business afloat and have done pretty well as a result of it,” Parker said.
Parker bought gift cards from Einstein’s Attic, Clipper’s Tea Shop, PetPort, and the Jewelry Collection in addition to other small businesses.
Small Business Saturday is a national event that is currently in its fourth year.
A handful of small business merchants in Northport—who declined to be named in this article—were frustrated that much of the municipal parking was blocked off for shoppers on Friday night and early morning Saturday, which they said might have impacted their level of sales.
But Parker remained positive, providing guests with a list of stores to hit during their walk along Main Street and throughout the downtown village. Several late night stores were “packed” after the traditional Leg Lamp Lighting at the Northport Hardware Store on Nov. 30, she added.
“By Saturday most of the parking was back and I think people had a really positive response. It’s a slow boil, in its second year in Northport, and each year we’ll hope to get more and more merchants involved. It’s all good and fun and hopefully each year it will grow and catch on,” Parker said.
Parker notified raffle winners by email on Monday.