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Small Business Saturday Showcases Importance of Buying Local

When customers support small businesses, NEPA’rogi co-owner Lauren Gorney said they help people like her earn a living.

Gorney and Frank Marcinkowski started the NEPA’rogi food truck around Easter this year and they opened a pierogi business at 579 E. Main St., Nanticoke, next to Tarnowski’s Kielbasa in September.

They started the business after Gorney was laid off from her fundraising job during the COVID-19 pandemic and Marcinkowski, a local musician, also was hit hard by the shutdowns last year.

Since they started NEPA’rogi, Gorney said they have been successful and they are working seven days a week during the holiday season.

“Business is so good that we haven’t been able to keep up,” she said. “We are very aware how hard the food industry was hit by COVID and we are grateful for the support the community is showing us.”

NEPA’rogi is one of the food trucks at “Wonderland,” an outdoor holiday craft market and tree lighting event that will be held on Small Business Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 27 at Forty Fort Cemetery.

Wyoming Valley Ghost Tours is hosting the event that includes more than 40 vendors who are mostly from Northeast Pennsylvania.

John Balucha, who owns Wyoming Valley Ghost Tours in Kingston with his wife, Keriann, said they like to bring people to historic locations in the region and they teach people how to conduct paranormal investigations.

“We always like to get the community involved in everything we do,” Balucha said. “We love supporting local businesses all year long and we wanted to bring attention to Small Business Saturday.”

Small Business Saturday is a day to support local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods across the country. American Express created the national movement in 2010 to increase sales for small businesses across the country.

At the Small Business Saturday event in Forty Fort, Wyoming Valley West band and chorus members will perform at noon and 4 p.m. A tree-lighting ceremony will be held at 4:15 p.m. Santa Claus will be there from 2 to 5 p.m. Matt Schooley, president of the Forty Fort Cemetery Association, will offer a history lesson.

NEPA’rogi is one of four food trucks that will participate. The others include Taco Bout US NEPA, Uncle Bucks BBQ and Handel’s, which will sell goodies, hot chocolate, cider and tea.

Gorney said COVID-19 impacted everybody’s lives in some way and supporting small businesses helps people like her continue to earn a living.

“When you support small businesses, it makes a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

Scranton

Mayor Paige Cognetti, leaders of Scranton Tomorrow and local business owners recently gathered on the steps of Scranton City Hall and the mayor proclaimed Nov. 27 as Small Business Saturday in the Electric City.

For 11 years, Scranton Tomorrow has organized Small Business Saturday in downtown Scranton.

In addition to in-person shopping and dining, many retailers and restaurants are promoting online sales, curbside pickup and delivery services for convenient shopping and dining in downtown Scranton.

Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe at 536 Spruce St., Scranton, is one of the small businesses that will offer specials.

Owner Jenn Saunders said they will have drink specials, people can receive 10% off gift cards and there will be samples and different gift baskets, which include locally roasted coffee from Damiani Coffee Roasters in Factoryville, as well as mugs and apparel.

In business since 2002, Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe is one of Scranton’s oldest independently-owned coffee shops.

Like many other small businesses, the espresso bar shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic for about 10 weeks from March to June. Saunders said the business has since brought back its staff and ramped up its hours from Monday through Saturday.

Now, she said it’s more important than ever to support small businesses and “it means a lot to the business owners behind the scenes who bring specialty items to the area.”

“Running a small business is not always easy,” Saunders said. “The pandemic was very tough for many of us or all of us.”

Small Business Saturday is part of Scranton Tomorrow’s annual holiday campaign called “Light Up Downtown Scranton” that will run through Jan. 7.

In addition to Small Business Saturday, this year’s campaign includes traditional holiday favorites and new programs, including The Swing’ Jazz Nutcracker Suite concert and toy drive on Nov. 27, a holiday open house, the holiday window showcase, Black Friday events, Tis the Season Sundays and Cyber Monday.

“The initiative really captures the spirit of what we encourage everyone in the community to do all year around — support local,” said Leslie Collins, president and CEO of Scranton Tomorrow. “You can find gifts for everyone on your list and feel good that every dollar you spend benefits people who live and work in your community. Our small business owners are our neighbors, family and friends. When we shop and dine ‘small,’ we make a big impact on the local economy.”

Holiday market in downtown Wilkes-Barre

A holiday shopping market returns to Midtown Village in downtown Wilkes-Barre from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

The day features pictures with Santa, strolling carolers beginning at noon, happy hour with Susquehanna Brewing Co. from 4 to 7 p.m. and live music with Indigo Moon Brass Band from 5 to 7 p.m., the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce and Diamond City Partnership announced.

Lindsay Griffin, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, said pop-up shops are relocating to Midtown Village again thanks to a partnership with Sandy Insalaco.

Griffin said Small Business Saturday this year “is more important than ever as we highlight, support and visit our local small businesses this holiday season.”

“These businesses are the cornerstone of our communities and we all can help to make sure they are getting our critical support now more than ever as we move forward from the pandemic,” Griffin said.

According to the American Express Shop Small Impact survey, 56% of small business owners surveyed agree that this year’s Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever for their businesses and 78% say holiday sales will impact their ability to keep their doors open in 2022.

Original Post: standardspeaker.com

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