The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by The Ithaca Voice …  click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at jalmendarez@gmail.com.
ITHACA– The holiday shopping season is upon us, and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance reminds consumers that downtown Ithaca is home to more than 100 independent locally owned stores and businesses that offer many special gift-worthy items. The organization also encourages consumers to participate in upcoming special holiday shopping events that are aimed to recognize the local retailers.

Small Business Saturday is Saturday, Nov. 26. This special day for locally owned and operated retail shops, provides an opportunity for patrons to demonstrate their support for local businesses and the community. On Small Business Saturday, many shops may offer special deals and some stores will be distributing “Shop Small” canvas bags to their customers. Founded by American Express six years ago, Small Business Saturday has grown into a powerful movement with more people taking part every year.

To further encourage consumers to shop local on Small Business Saturday, Downtown Ithaca is conducting a #shopsmall selfie contest online. When you shop on Small Business Saturday, snap a selfie and use the hashtags #shopsmall and #downtownithaca on Facebook or Instagram. A prize will be awarded to one winner, and their selfie reposted on Downtown Ithaca’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Look for additional contest details and rules on Downtown Ithaca’s Facebook Events Page.

In downtown Ithaca’s stores throughout the holiday shopping season, consumers will find a variety of gift options including handcrafted items made by skilled artisans along with quality products from U.S. companies.

The Ithaca Commons, a two-block pedestrian shopping mall, boasts nearly two dozen specialty shops. Many additional stores that each sell unique and thoughtful gifts are located within walking distance of the Commons. Make sure to check out the retailers at the Dewitt Mall, Pressbay Alley, and on East and West State streets.

Downtown Ithaca also offers more than 50 dining choices where consumers may stop for a delicious meal anytime during their holiday shopping excursion.

“When money is spent at independent locally owned businesses, the money stays here and strengthens the economic base of where we live. Plus, patrons should support these one-of-a-kind businesses because they contribute to the character of our community with exclusive shopping and dining options,” said DIA Executive Director Gary Ferguson.

Last year, more consumers reported visiting their local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday than ever before, according to results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. More than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking an eight percent increase from 2014.

For more information, visit shopsmall.com, or call the DIA at (607) 277-8679 or email info@downtownithaca.com.

To continue the holiday shopping spirit past the traditionally busy shopping weekend, Downtown Ithaca will host “CiderMonday. This tongue in cheek, brick and mortar alternative to Cyber Monday will provide downtown consumers with an opportunity to sample ciders while they shop. Downtown businesses will be welcoming in shoppers with complimentary cups of cider, and some great Finger Lakes ciders will be hosting tastings downtown, too.

Additional details, including cider tasting locations, are available at the Downtown Ithaca Facebook Events Page.

Also, be sure to check out Downtown Ithaca’s upcoming holiday festivities, including Santa’s arrival on December 3, the Ithaca Ice Festival from December 8-10, and the Chowder Cook-Off on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr.