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Small Business Saturday, Toy Drives Planned to Promote Local Vendors

Michaela Miller, left, administrative assistant at St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce and Belmont County Safety Council coordinator, and Wendy Anderson, director of the chamber of commerce, invite the public to donate to upcoming toy drives.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — After the rush of Black Friday shopping today, the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce will be kicking off Small Business Saturday to promote the local vendors in their area. Chamber Director Wendy Anderson said the event, situated between Black Friday and Cyber Monday,

“We have several businesses that are going to be open with specials,” Anderson said, adding there are 20 businesses involved so far.

These include Window Fashions by Beth which will offer 20 percent off of any item. Boutique on Main, From Past to Present, and Three Labs Salvage, as well as Made in the Shade in Wheeling. Envy Salon & Spa will have special novelty brushes.

“It’s shop small. The focus is local, unique stores instead of big box stores. We want you to focus in town for our very unique style of shops,” she said.

“They’re very successful. People are interested in shopping small to keep the community alive, and the only way to do that is to shop your local stores,” she said.

“We do see an increase in traffic through town. On a typical Saturday it’s probably about 30 to 40 percent higher,” she said.

Local Boy Scouts will also participate, and the chamber will serve popcorn and hot chocolate.

“It’s a very good opportunity. It brings people in that maybe didn’t know you were here yet, even if you’ve been here for years. Some people are new to the area and they don’t always shop downtown, so this helps to bring them back to the small businesses. We’ll have some of our dips that we sell to be sampled and I’ll have some of my handmade items for sale,” Joyce Paglialunga owner of From Past to Present, said. “They usually have a pretty good turnout in town, especially if it’s a nice day.”

“We think it’s going to be very popular,” Lynn Jeffries, owner of Three Labs Salvage, said. “We’ll be open for the Christmas Parade was well, and Small Business Saturday.” “We’re stocked up for the holidays. Small Business Saturday and that weekend is spectacular for our customers. We have the store decorated and we’ll have our elevated train running. It’s just a wonderful atmosphere.”

Two major toy drives are underway to provide toys to provide a Merry Christmas to area children.

Anderson is holding Operation Toy Lift Dec. 7 at the Ohio Valley Mall in conjunctions with numerous sponsors, including Macy’s, the Cumberland Trail Fire District, the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office, United Way, American Electric Power, and Industrial Commercial Residential Equipment Rental Sales & Supply (ICR).

“There’s a lot of people involved in that. ICR has a big lift, and they actually take the toys up and they drop them into a container,” Anderson said. “We’ve never done the toy lift.”

The Belmont County Safety Council is holding a Holiday Toy Drive Dec. 5 at the Safety Council meeting at the St. Clairsville recreation center.

“There’s a need in the valley and we wanted to help our local kids,” Anderson said. “We wanted to start giving back to the community more through our safety council, so that’s why we were going to give out grants, and in the near future we can start giving out different types of scholarships.”

Toys collected by the Safety Council will got to the Wheeling based Youth Services System, and the Safety Council will also donate $2,000 to area businesses. Four donations for $500 each will go to members in need of safety equipment. They will also hear a presentation about about forklift training and safety.

The public is welcome to donate new and unwrapped toys.

“We are taking donations as of right now until Dec. 5,” Anderson said. “We’re accepting them through the chamber. You can drop them off at the chamber for the Safety Council, or if you’re a member of the Safety Council you can bring them to the luncheon.”

The chamber office is 133 E. Main St., St. Clairsville.

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