NASHUA — Touting her love for Lampe Berger candles, Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau convinced Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to purchase one of the scented lamp oil sets on Monday while visiting several downtown businesses.
In an effort to promote Small Business Saturday this weekend, state and city officials braved the cold to speak with local store owners and get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping.
While browsing Beckonings, a downtown gift shop and boutique, Shaheen stressed the importance of shopping at small businesses throughout the state.
“They employ the majority of New Hampshire people. They are the foundation of the economy here, and we want to do everything we can to support them,” Shaheen said.
Some of the popular items this holiday season at Beckonings include Lampe Berger candles, bottled beverage dispensers ideal for wine lovers and cozy fleece Snoozies sock slippers perfect for every woman, according to store employees.
“I think there has been a resurgence of Main Street activity in New England, and communities are focusing more than ever on their downtowns, which is beneficial for shoppers and business owners,” said Seth Goodall, regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Goodall’s visit to Nashua was one of several planned this week throughout New England, as he also intends to visit small businesses in Hartford, Conn., and Westfield, Mass.
Small Business Saturday, taking place this weekend in conjunction with Nashua’s Holiday Stroll, is a day to support the local small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country, said Goodall. Shopping small can make a big impact on local communities, he added.
Executive Councilor Deb Pignatelli was also on hand for the shopping spree, maintaining downtown Nashua is one of her favorite places to shop.
“I like to shop local and buy local to help our small businesses, some of which are struggling right now,” said Pignatelli, adding that Beckonings is a great place to purchase Hanukkah gifts because it has a large selection of holiday merchandise.
Lozeau said she has many favorite shops downtown, but that it would be difficult to single out one storefront. Fresh of Nashua, WineNot Boutique, Scontsas Fine Jewelry and the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen are great stores to find unique gifts, Lozeau said.
She noted that Scontsas is where her husband purchased her wedding ring, and he also found her a special clock last year at Cardin Jewelers.
Officials walked to Alec’s Shoe Store at 201 Main St. where State Sen. Peggy Gilmour had a hard time deciding on several pairs of fashionable riding boots. The group ended its visit at Martha’s Exchange, 185 Main St.
“These stores are the backbone of our economy,” Goodall said. “They create two-thirds of our jobs, and it is important that they are exposed and supported during this time of year.”
Before leaving one of the shops, Goodall purchased the children’s book “Good Night North Pole” to read to his 2-year-old daughter. “This is why we are here.”