As we approach the holiday shopping season, we face the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These marketing programs encourage consumers to rush to the mall or big box store, or to shop with their computers without ever leaving the house. There is, however, a better way to do your holiday shopping – head right downtown and patronize the local businesses of Melrose and Wakefield.
Why support our local businesses? They are crucial to economic development and job creation. According to the United States Small Business Administration, there were approximately 28 million small businesses in the United States last year. Over the past two decades, small businesses have created 65 percent of net new jobs. According to the small business advocacy organization the 3/50 Project, every $100 spent in locally-owned businesses returns $68 to the community.
Shopping in your community offers the best of both worlds – the convenience of a great location and the customer service you can only get from a local merchant. You can shop at your leisure, stop in for a drinks or dinner at a fine restaurant, meet friends old and new, and not have to fight the holiday traffic. Melrose and Wakefield have exciting programs again this year to show you the abundance of unique products and services available right in your own backyard.
On December 2 -3, the Melrose Chamber of Commerce is again presenting Home for the Holidays, a showcase of Melrose merchants throughout the city. The weekend features trolley rides, caroling, crafts, lots of activities for kids, PTO events and great deals on gifts. In addition, the Chamber offers First Stop: Melrose Gift Certificate program, where you can purchase gift certificates good at all participating local Melrose business.
The Wakefield Event Planning Committee is holding its 3rd Annual Holiday Stroll down Main Street on December 3. The event kicks off with a holiday hat parade down Main Street featuring your holiday hats and the Wakefield High School Marching Band. All are welcome to join the parade. After the parade, Main Street and Albion Street will feature holiday entertainment, food, ice sculpture, and holiday shopping discounts.
Local businesses are the backbone of Melrose and Wakefield. When you go to our athletic fields, you see the scores of local sponsors. When you attend the Melrose Symphony or a performance at the Wakefield Center for the Performing Arts, it is made possible through the generous support of local businesses. When you child receives a scholarship from the Wakefield Citizens Scholarship Fund or the Melrose High School Permanent Scholarship Fund, it is due to the financial contributions and other donations from the individuals and businesses in our own communities. Let’s support the local businesses that support our communities this holiday season and throughout the year, as they always support us.
- Representative Paul Brodeur (D-Melrose)