WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Holiday shopping is in full swing this Thanksgiving weekend. It started with Black Friday and gave way to Small Business Saturday.
Support for small businesses could be seen and heard all throughout downtown Wilkes-Barre today as crowds of people shopped till they dropped.
“Oh, I’m shopping for gifts today” exclaimed Siri Bennet from Wilkes-Barre
Siri Bennet made a list and checked it twice for Small Business Saturday in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
It’s where more than two-dozen local vendors set up shop in midtown village for the open-air holiday market, displaying their most gift-worthy items.
The very popular and very pink small business “The Soap Chef” returned for a second year.
“We specialize in handmade everything,” said Lissa Panagakos, owner of The Soap Chef.
Owner Lissa Panagakos says the crowd of shoppers is truly a welcome sight.
“We don’t own storefronts and we just go around to events like this so the community coming out and supporting us and shopping local and buying local means everything to us,” Panagakos explained.
Unique gifts could be found for everyone on shoppers’ Christmas lists, like this “Pizza, potholes and pierogi’s” shirt. It’s a top-seller for the small business “Five-Seven Oh Company.”
“Anything that we think makes this area unique, we try to get that on a shirt, and that way people could represent the area and show some pride in where we live,” Erin Leiby and Tyler Kukosky, owners of Five Seven Oh Company, told Eyewitness News.
Helping local entrepreneurs succeed is a goal of Wilkes-Barre’s management organization, Diamond City Partnership.
“These businesses were struggling for a long time, so anything that we can do to as an organization to support them, we will do,” said Shelby Monk, marketing/communications & event coordinator, of Diamond City Partnership.
Bennett encourages everyone to shop small this holiday season.
“You promote a business by introducing somebody else to the business, so it’s a gift that keeps giving,” Bennet said.
That’s right, Santa Claus himself is coming to the Diamond City in a couple of weeks to pose for free pictures with kids.