Shop Small: Niagara County businesses ready for Thanksgiving weekend
By Joshua Maloni
American Express created the template for Small Business Saturday in 2010. More than a decade later, the credit card company says, “Based on data in the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the U.S. The study also found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in the local community, and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.”
While those numbers are impressive, smart money says most locally owned businesses aren’t so much thinking about that study as they are what Anchor Spirits owner Cheryl Irish-Butera said this week.
“We survived COVID,” she explained. “We're coming out of two of the hardest years for so many people. We are so appreciative that people were kind and thoughtful, wore their mask when they needed to, didn't give us a hard time. And you know, we don't know what the future holds. But we got through it, and we are so hand-in-hand with all the others that got through it, or those that are picking themselves up by the bootstraps and starting all over again.”
And so it is that, in a spirit of seasonal solidarity among storeowners – and appreciation for customers – mom-and-pop brick-and-mortars will showcase their uniqueness and provide some of the best deals to date over the course of Thanksgiving weekend.
Small Business Saturday is a time to patronize local establishments and, in turn, a time for those local establishments to show appreciation to their patrons.
HEALING EARTH CBD
When Healing Earth CBD opened in the summer of 2021, public response “was very, very positive,” co-owner Brandon Rush said. “You know, obviously there's a huge issue with education. A lot of people come in, and they don't know the difference between marijuana and hemp. They don't know what the difference between CBD and what THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is, or what it does to the body. So, we spend a lot of time educating customers. But I think, overall, it's been a very positive customer experience. I mean, we've done very well; we're obviously still in business.”
In an initial article detailing the Village of Lewiston store’s opening, Rush and co-owner Heather Belviso stressed their extensive line of tinctures, gummies and creams could provide pain and stress relief in a more-efficient and less-addictive manner than more widely known pills and medications.
“We have regular customers that have had ailments for years, and nothing the doctors have ever prescribed – even medical marijuana – has ever come close to helping,” Rush reaffirmed. “They're now taking CBD on a regular basis, and they come back every month. So, it's obviously helping. I have one customer, in particular, that she was born with an ailment, and she struggled with it her entire life; and CBD is the only thing that's ever helped her.”
For people considering using hemp for the first time, Rush said they should know “I am a certified CBD consultant. So, my training is very in-depth on not just CBD, but THC and the cannabis sativa plant, in general. But I do always recommend everybody – every single person that comes in – that they talk to their doctor before starting a regimen.
“There have not been any known interactions with CBD, with any medications, prescription-wise. But still, I always say it's better safe than sorry. So, just check with your doctor. I tell people to check with their vets, too, before they start their pets on a CBD regimen.”
All products at Healing Earth CBD are over-the-counter. “And everything that we sell is 100% federally legal,” Rush said. “It all complies with the 2018 farm bill, which, basically, the only real stipulation with that is it has to contain less than 0.3% THC by weight. And like I said, every product that we carry does conform to that.”
The product selection at Healing Earth CBD has changed since the store first opened, partly due to the fact that more is now known about hemp’s potential benefits.
“The current trend is higher-dose CBD, just because like I said in the original article, everything's so relatively new,” Rush said. “Everyone's just trying to get a handle on it.
“Originally, most of the industry thought that 10 to 15 milligrams per dose was a good starting point. Now that's closer to 50. And for a lot of my customers, they're taking up to 200 milligrams per dose. Whereas two years ago, there wasn't even products on the market that had that high of a potency. But now it's definitely becoming more common to have a higher dose.
“And then also, we have added an entire display case full of, like I said, federally legal THC-infused products. Those are, by far, our biggest seller the last few months. A lot of my regular customers – even the ones that just are looking for medical benefits – they are steering towards the THC products, because they do have a high amount of CBD and just a low amount of THC. And that just a little bit of THC helps with the pain, helps with the stress, helps with anxiety.
“And then we do have a full assortment of higher-dose THC products that are more geared for recreational use.”
In addition to the tinctures, gummies and creams, “We have been expanding into a lot more of an edible market,” Rush said. “So, we do have a lot more gummies; we have chocolates, caramels, cookies, popcorn, peanut butter nuggets, Rice Krispie treats, drinks. We have an entire line of CBD sparkling waters and sparkling teas. We have coffee. We just got some new hot teas and hot cocoas. They're infused with CBD.”
On Thanksgiving weekend, “We'll run a few holiday specials,” Rush said. “I think the one that's going to work the best, as far as attracting customers, is we're doing 10% off any THC-infused product.”
He added, “We're going to do the 10% off any THC product. We have our botanical lines, our beauty products, are buy one, get one free – of equal or lesser value, obviously. Our soaps, candles and wax melts are 25% off. And then, the hot teas that we just got in, we're going to run a special: buy four, get one free. We're going to run that from Black Friday all the way until Christmas Eve.”
Healing Earth CBD is located at 765 Cayuga St., Lewiston. Visit online at www.healingearthcbd.com.
Healing Earth CBD photo courtesy of Brandon Rush
About Small Business Saturday
Nov. 26 is the 13th annual Small Business Saturday, proudly backed by American Express. Dedicated to supporting the diverse range of local businesses that create jobs, help boost the economy, and enhance neighborhoods around the country, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: getting more customers.
This national holiday shopping tradition is dedicated to celebrating small businesses and driving more customers through their doors on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
About Shop Small
Shop Small is a year-round movement that supports small, independent businesses and calls attention to the valuable and distinct contributions they make to their communities and the economy. Shop Small celebrates small businesses ranging from retail stores and restaurants to fitness studios and salons, and everything in between. The Shop Small movement was spurred by the widespread participation in Small Business Saturday.
Healing Earth CBD photo courtesy of Brandon Rush
CELEBRATE LOCAL WITH SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Submitted by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26 to remind our neighbors how important their support is to local businesses this holiday season.
The Chamber has compiled a listing of member businesses that will be celebrating the special day with a discount or promotion. The Chamber has been a part of the Small Business Saturday movement dedicated to supporting the independent businesses that make our communities unique and provide invaluable contributions to our economy. We encourage everyone to celebrate and support the neighborhood businesses in our communities every day.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce staff and board of directors will have an open house at the Chamber office and Welcome Center, 895 Center St., in the Village of Lewiston, beginning on Saturday, Nov. 26. The Chamber will give away 50 $15 gift certificates to the first 50 people who visit the Chamber office! Free canvas bags will be given to the first 35 shoppers, along with a listing of promotions from our member businesses. Free coffee will also be available.
Participants must be at least 18 years old, complete paperwork, and be present to receive the certificate. One prize per person.
Below is a listing of businesses offering special promotions on Small Business Saturday. A full listing and featured spotlights are available online at www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com. Hours vary per business.
•Antique to Chic (536 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Unique variety of vintage, new and hand-crafted gifts with great holiday décor ideas. Sweet holiday treats. “Super Santa Sale” items. Coupon drawing for 30% off one regular-priced item.
•Be OK Studio (265 Portage Road, Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Small Business Saturday: Spend $100 on classes/gift card, get an extra $25! Visit www.mindbodyonline.com/explore/locations/riverview-fitness.
•Bella Rose Vineyard & Winery (1243 Ridge Road, Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off bottle purchases. Visit www.bellarosewinery.com.
•Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop (444 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Enter to win Brewed and Bottled swag with any to-go beer purchase of a mixed four-pack or more! Every four-pack earns you an entry. Two winners will be chosen. First place wins a B&B hoodie; second place wins a B&B T-shirt. (21-and-older only).
•Chéri Amour (522 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Special gifts with purchase, and extra discount promotions!
•DeGiulio's Pharmacy (220 Portage Road, Lewiston): Receive 20% off all store gift item merchandise (excluding gift cards, prescriptions, etc.).
•Everything Youngstown (435 Main St., Youngstown) Extended hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Come Shop Small with Everything Youngstown. Free gift with purchase. Special sale items on Small Business Saturday!
•Healing Earth CBD (765 Cayuga St., Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Black Friday through Christmas Eve, save 10% on all THC products; 25% off all soaps and candles; buy one, get one on all cbdMD Botanicals products; CVD tea sample pack (five teabags for the price of four). Visit www.HealingEarthCBD.com.
•Inspirations on Canvas (449 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and treats, as well as 10% off all in-store purchases (excluding commissioned art and gift certificates). Enter to win one of five prizes with purchase! Happy holidays!
•Orange Cat Coffee Co. (703 Center St., Lewiston) Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off all bulk coffee and tea! Enter our raffle to win a basket filled with OC goodies!
•Queen B’s Cottage (475 Ridge St., Lewiston) Enter to win a $25 gift certificate! Second prize is a candle!
•Research and Design (721 Center St., Lewiston) Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: BOGO 50% off select styles. BOGO free on select Junkfood styles. 25% off select Sorels. Extended holiday hours and complimentary gift wrapping!
•Revamped New York Inc. (484 Center St., Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Hair braiders from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Forever bracelets from 3-7 p.m. Free hot cocoa bar! 70% off sale items. The entire store is 20% off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 15% from 3-7 p.m. Visit www.revampedny.com.
•The Rose Hanger Shop (411 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Door-buster deal: First 10 purchases of the day will receive a free Rose Hanger Shop gift bag filled with products, accessories and gift cards – a $100 value! 25% to 70% off storewide! Exclusions apply. Visit www.therosehangershop.com.
•Sgt. Peppers Hot Sauces, Etc. (444 Center St., Side Unit 4, Lewiston): Enter to win a $50 gift certificate and a Sgt. Peppers T-shirt with any purchase of $10 or more. Drawing on Dec. 20. Visit www.sgtpeppershotsaucesetc.com.
•Trait-Carré (480 Center St., Lewiston) Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 10% off storewide, and more discounts on awesome gifts!
•You & Me (467 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off every purchase, and a variety of free gifts with purchases of $25-plus. Visit www.shopyouandme.com.