NORWALK, Conn. -- The City of Norwalk is working to make sure that retailers and shoppers are ready to support local merchants during Small Business Saturday this weekend.
Mayor Harry Rillling and Economic Development Director Elizabeth Stocker toured several small businesses throughout Norwalk on Wednesday.
As they braved the cold rain to visit shops in the Wall Street section of the city and in South Norwalk, they spoke with the owners to learn more about their stores and make sure that they promoting the event to encourage people to shop local.
Rilling also took the time to listen to them about their concerns on issues such as parking, and to share news of incoming developments and work by the city to promote business.
"We want to get people interested in all the small businesses that Norwalk has to offer," Rilling said. "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy. The mom-and-pop shops keep our economy going."
Connie Brown of Connie B's in South Norwalk said that Small Business Saturday has helped to promote local shopping in the past.
"I think it makes people aware of all the small businesses in the area that people really need," she said. Bringing shoppers to the businesses will encourage more stores to open in Norwalk, Brown said. "The big box stores will always be there. Small business needs you."
Mike Alberts of Norwalk Luggage said the store would be offering several discounts on items throughout the day Saturday, and that they would be giving away items such as tote bags, luggage scales and luggage straps with purchases to celebrate the event.
"It definitely helps to promote business," Alberts said. "We do see an increase in traffic."
"I think it's great, it helps all the small businesses," said Larry Pellegrini of Pellegrini Jewelers.
The day is sponsored throughout the country by American Express. Those who use their American Express card on local purchases of $10 or more can get $10 back up to three times throughout the day.
The city is also promoting the event by offering free parking throughout the day. The free parking will be available for all on-street parking spots, excluding garages. The two-hour limit will remain in effect to encourage turnover of spaces.
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