Volunteers untangle miles of string Christmas lights to decorate Spiva Park. A young woman stands outside Christene’s Curiosities for hours in order to paint an intricate winter wonderland setting on the business’s windows. Blue Moon Boutique’s entrance is suddenly filled with an array of colorful tinsel trees and decor.
For downtown Joplin businesses, the holiday season and holiday shopping are here. And with it comes a boost in activity.
“The holiday season absolutely gets busier than normal,” said licensed massage therapist Clara Peters, who operates out of Blacklist Ink Tattoo & Laser on Main Street. “From gift cards being purchased for loved ones to self-care purchases due to the exhaustion of the busy holiday season. Whatever the reasoning is, I’m thankful for the business.”
“This is a busy time of the year for us. We are hoping that more people shop local and support the small-business owners this season,” said Julie Turner, owner of Blush Boutique, which now shares a space on Main Street with Blue Moon Boutique.
Turner said both businesses are looking forward to a successful season.
Some local establishments are still enjoying the last remnants of fall. Coffee shops still feature their spin on pumpkin spiced lattes, and local bakers are taking orders for Thanksgiving pies and other treats, for example. But for many, it’s better business to prepare for what comes directly after Thanksgiving: Black Friday shopping.
For decades now, Black Friday has been considered the biggest shopping day of the year. Consumers can often expect to find discounts on everything from children’s toys to diamond rings starting at midnight on Thanksgiving. In more recent years, Black Friday has turned into an almost weeklong event with additional sales on Cyber Monday or invitations to donate on Giving Tuesday.
Many businesses will choose to participate in all Black Friday-adjacent events to up their sales. But there is one particular part of Black Friday festivities that the Downtown Joplin Alliance hopes will be of particular interest to holiday shoppers.
Small Business Saturday was created to be an opportunity for communities to boost their own economy by choosing to shop at locally-owned establishments.
That is why the Downtown Joplin Alliance is holding a “Fall in Love with Local” bingo promotion for Small Business Saturday. Visitors who shop or dine at 24 participating downtown businesses during their Saturday hours on Nov. 25 can pick up a free bingo card that will be marked as they visit each location. Once they’ve finished, they simply turn in their card at any of the participating locations. Each bingo card grants one entry — whereas a blackout card grants 10 entries — into a drawing to win one of five tote bags filled with local products and gift cards to local stores. The items in each bag are worth several hundred dollars.
Lori Haun, executive director of the Downtown Joplin Alliance, said, “Small Business Saturday is an important day for our downtown businesses as it shines a light on the importance of shopping local and keeping your dollars in our own community. We have a wide range of businesses downtown that offer gift items, services or entertainment options, and the holiday season is critical to their yearly success.”
Many of the participating locations will have specialty drinks, snacks and door prizes to ensure that Small Business Saturday is festive.
On Tuesday, voting begins for Downtown Decorating Contest. This year’s theme is “Winter Wonderland.” The public will vote for their favorites in the categories of best use of theme, best use of lights and most creative. City Hall holiday windows also will be lit. Awards for the contest will be announced Dec. 19.
Participating locations include:
• 530 Somewhere, 530 S. Main St.
• Bearded Lady Roasters, 218 S. Main St.
• Black List Ink Tattoo/Laser, 506 and 510 S. Main St.
• Blackthorn Pizza & Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave.
• Blue Moon Boutique, 613 S. Main St.
• Bookhouse Cinema, 715 E. Broadway St.
• Bourbon Boutique, 1410 S. Main St.
• Chaos Brewing Co., 112 S. Main St.
• Christene’s Curiosities, 112 S. Main St.
• The Clay Cup, 901 S. Main St.
• Coley’s Cookie Co., 901 S. Main St.
• Empire Market, 931 E. Fourth St.
• Haelyn & Co., 905 S. Main St., Suite 1
• Hungry Monkey, 905 S. Main St., Suite 3.
• Hurley’s Heroes Games & Hobbies, 824 S. Main St.
• Joplin Avenue Coffee Co., 506 S. Joplin Ave.
• Local Color Art Gallery, 1027 S. Main St.
• Main Street Axe Co., 215 S. Wall Ave.
• Red Onion Cafe, 203 E. Fourth St.
• Runaround Running & Lifestyle, 303 S. Main St.
• Salon 529 & Day Spa, 529 S. Main St.
• Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St.
• Urban Art Gallery, 511 S. Main St.
• The Vibes, 911 S. Main St.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.