Who needs the Internet or big-box stores when you can shop for everyone on your list and support the small businesses in your community.
That was the not-so-subtle message the recently formed Los Banos Downtown Merchant’s Association delivered to the public while sponsoring A Christmas Evening Downtown on Dec. 5.
The event, which is essentially a pitch by small businesses to acquaint consumers to their shops and products in hopes of grabbing a share of crucial holiday spending, attracted scores of people to 15 establishments for a night of food, music, chitchat and commerce.
“It does help,” said Donna Mendes of Positive Changes. “I think this is the fifth time we’ve done it, and it always gets people out.”
Tony Guana of JMG Fabrics said he and his wife’s business have benefited from the event.
“It’s been two years since we opened and a lot of people come (to A Christmas Evening) and tell us they didn’t know we were here,” he said.
Guana said last year’s event attracted people from as far away as San Jose.
Fernando Artalejo said he and his wife like the evening’s festive atmosphere.
Participating shops offered a selection of food, including chocolates, pastries, biscotti, cheeses, sausages and tortilla chips. A few locations splurged on live music, and some stores offered merchandise discounts. Also, a raffle was held in which the winner received a gift basket that included items from each business that participated.
Diana Ingram said she attends the event each year because it gives her a chance to visit with friends she doesn’t see around town often.
Businesses that took part in A Christmas Evening Downtown included Accessorize It, Treasures, The Country Duck, The Farm House, Fleur de Lis, Health Time and Tony’s Rendezvous.
Also participating were JMG Fabrics & Craft Supplies, The Office City, Los Banos Drugs, Pearson’s Jewelers, Phoenix Books, Positive Changes, Simply Unique and Una Bella Salon.