Christmas Gift Guide for Shopping Small

Downtown on a dime! A shopping small Christmas gift guide for Downtown Laurel during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday is just what you need to help you get started!

This is the perfect gift guide for all price ranges and every person on your Christmas list this year!  Remember to stay local and shop at small businesses during the holiday season.

 

Gifts Under $25:

For the Guys:

Your Everyday Hot Sauce from Sullivan & Sons Co.

This is the perfect gift for the guy who likes to cook or grill!

Scotsman Mississippi Key Fob from the Laurel Mercantile

Do you love Hometown?  Snag this Scotsman key fob as a gift for the guy in your life!

Duke Cannon Duke Cannon Soap Leaf and Leather from Guild and Gentry

Check out Guild and Gentry for the best stocking stuffers like this Duke Cannon soap!

Southern Socks from the Laurel Mercantile

USA-made socks with a variety of designs make for the perfect Christmas gift!

 

For the Ladies:

Bling Circle Studs from It’s What A Girl Wants

Every girl needs a little bit of sparkle for Christmas!

Fashion Fall Gloves from Two A Tee & Co.

Stay warm and cozy this winter with these fashionable gloves!

Tickled Pink 8oz Candle from The Cotton Boll

Help a friend fill their home with wonderful smells from The Cotton Boll!

Capetown Puzzle – 1000 Piece from Be Amazing Paper Co.

Be Amazing Paper Co. has the perfect puzzle to relax with after the busy holiday season!

 

For the Kids:

Kids Collection – Be Silly Be Honest Sign from HAND + made

Add a bit of joy and decoration for the kiddos during the holidays!

The Lantern House by Erin Napier from the Laurel Mercantile

Step into a new world with the story of this home with the kids from the Laurel Mercantile!

Patchwork Owl from LollyBells Children’s Boutique and Gifts

Find a friend for the kids in this stuffed animal!

“Your Words Have Power” Short Sleeve Shirt from The Social Club

Spread kindness to everyone with The Social Club as a gift for the kids!

 

Gifts $25 and Up:

For the Guys:

Tech Tools Kit from The Cotton Boll

The perfect “do it all” gift for the handyman in your life!

Properly Tied Summit Duffle from Guild and Gentry

An essential travel bag for guys of all ages with genuine leather

 

For the Ladies:

Hampton Court Blanket from Allie’s on Magnolia

Cozy up next to a fire with the softest blanket to help keep you warm during the winter!

OnRunning Shoes from Bella Bella

Ladies, stay up to date with the hottest trends with OnRunning!

 

For the Kids:

Kid Thank You Notes Writing Kit from the Laurel Mercantile

Allow your kids to send thank you notes to friends and family during the holidays!

Ornament from Sullivan & Sons Co.

Happy holidays & small business shopping from Laurel Main Street!

 

Wine Down is Winding Down for 2021

October’s Wine Down Downtown Laurel Main Street Wine Tumbler.

The last Wine Down Downtown for the year is in Downtown Laurel, Mississippi, on Friday, November 12th, from 5-8 PM! Head Downtown as Wine Down is winding down for the year for a relaxing night of wine tasting.  

What’s happening in Laurel in November?

Wine Down Downtown is a wine tasting event hosted by Laurel Main Street during various months throughout the year. Tasting stations are located at the businesses in the walkable downtown area, and a vast range of wines will be available. Tastes of about 2 ounces are served to all guests who have their ticket, which is your wine tumbler purchased at check-in.

How do I purchase a ticket for Wine Down?

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the check-in on Central Avenue, Front Street, or online via Eventbrite. Your ticket for tasting at Wine Down is a re-usable Laurel Main Street wine tumbler! The color of the wine tumbler changes for each month. You must be 21 to purchase/ID required to buy wine tumblers/tickets. When you come to Wine Down, you are buying a ticket and a Laurel souvenir all in one!

Eventbrite Pre-Event Ticket Purchase:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wine-down-downtown-tickets-167772673583 

The Classix, the featured band for the October event. DJ Peaches will be entertaining everyone at Wine Down in November at the Trustmark Art Park.

Not a wine drinker?  Shop and enjoy a good time!!

If you are not a wine drinker, there is still something for you at Wine Down! The businesses participating in Wine Down Downtown will be open for extended hours for this event from 5-8 PM. Enjoy some early Christmas shopping at Wine Down!  There may be some great deals going on during this event. You can also enjoy live music at the TrustMark Art Park during this time by DJ Peaches for free! The Art Park is an excellent space for you to sit back, relax, and if you have kids, this is a wonderful space for them to play! 

November 12th is the very last Wine Down of 2021, so you do not want to miss this event!! Let’s relax, enjoy a good time, and wind down for 2021 at Wine Down Downtown before the holidays begin.

Wine not come to the last Wine Down of 2021?? We will see you soon!

Top 5 Reasons to Shop Local This Holiday Season

This holiday season looks a little different, but we can still share joy. Shop Small and support your favorite small businesses – both in-store and online – all holiday season long.

1. Economic Stimulus. Supporting local is more than just a hashtag, it’s a lifestyle. Shopping locally supports local families and our local economy by keeping dollars local, so they can make more of an impact in our town. When someone opens their own business, they hire local people, pay local taxes, and source goods locally. When you shop local, you expand opportunity for others in your community. The health of small business is a direct reflection of the overall well-being of a community. Healthy Small Businesses = Healthy Local Economy.

 

2. Connect & Experience. We live in a “buy with one click” world. But there are still many consumers who want an experience, who desire interaction; that’s where small businesses and downtowns can thrive. They serve as a place to socialize and gather. Shopping locally means bumping into friends, benefitting from the expertise of local retailers, enjoying lively streets, and discovering something new. In a world where people are plugged in 24-7, many folks still desire a unique shopping experience.

3. Job Creation. Small, local businesses are the largest employers nationally. Compared to Amazon, independent retailers create 2x as many jobs for the same amount of revenue.1 Plus, the more jobs you have in your local community, the less people are going to have to commute, which means more time and less traffic.

4. Community Investment. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future. Local business owners also donate more to local charities than non-local owners. In places with more local businesses, people have stronger social ties2 and participate in more civic affairs.3

5. You Matter More. You might have read about exerting influence with your purchasing choices, or “voting with your wallet.” It’s a fact that all businesses respond to their customers, but your values and desires are much more influential to your local business than the big box stores.

Promoting the “support local” initiative is something that we celebrate as an organization on a daily basis. We value strong partnerships with the business community, and we believe that people want to support local businesses too. But if you MUST shop on Amazon, consider enrolling in the AmazonSmile program and designating Laurel Main Street as your charity of choice. Click here for more information on the AmazonSmile program and how you can help local non-profits.

 

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources, employ local workers, and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.

– paraphrased from Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

 

  1. “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Nov. 2016
  2. “The Health and Wealth of US Counties,” Troy C. Blanchard, et. All., Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society, 2011.
  3. “The Configuration of Local Economic Power and Civic Participation in the Global Economy,” Troy Blanchard and Todd L. Matthews, Social Forces, June 2006.

What’s Up With Wine Down

Thank you! Thank you for your steadfast support, patience, and understanding as we navigate this new normal. As many of our readers and followers know, our events are how we fund much of the work that we do. Planning events during a typical year comes with its own set of challenges, but planning events in the time of COVID requires us all to operate with heightened levels of flexibility and caution. We hope it brings you peace of mind to know that we are making every effort to ensure fun and safe events in downtown Laurel. So without further ado…

Welcome Back to Wine Down!

We are thrilled to be able to welcome you back to downtown Laurel on Friday, July 17 for Wine Down Downtown. A few things about the event have changed in an effort to minimize contact touch points, but we know you’ll still enjoy this evening in The City Beautiful!

Some things have not changed

Retailers will still offer wine tastings, equivalent to about a 2 oz. pour. Each store serving wine will have a different type for you to taste. There are also stores that will be open for extended shopping hours, but will serve non-alcoholic beverages instead. If you want to participate in the wine tasting, you must purchase a $15 wine tumbler at the Laurel Main Street tent or online. The Laurel Main Street tent will be located at the corner of Central Ave. and Magnolia St., outside of Rasberry Financial, and serves as the “gate.” Your tumbler will serve as your “ticket.” Wine will not be poured into any other container.

We will still check IDs. All attendees will be asked to present identification with proof of age.

There will also be live music in Trustmark Art Park, located on the corner of Oak St. and Magnolia St., and multiple other venues downtown.

So what’s new?

We highly encourage you to purchase your wine tumbler online. Tumblers purchased online will be available for pick up beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17 at the Laurel Main Street tent on the corner of Magnolia St. and Central Ave. To purchase tumblers online, click here.

If you are unable to purchase your tumbler in advance, we ask that you bring exact change. In an effort to minimize interactions, we will not have change on-site. If you do not have exact change, we ask that you consider donating your payment overage to Laurel Main Street.

When verifying your age, our volunteers will not touch IDs. You will be asked to show it to them instead.

We ask that you respect social distancing guidelines and stay six feet away from those not living in your household. There will be markings on the street to help.

All Laurel Main Street volunteers will be wearing masks. There will also be hand sanitizer available at the LMS tent as well as hand sanitizing stations throughout downtown. Our retailers have been encouraged to host sidewalk sales and pour wine tastings outside to encourage social distancing and minimize crowds in stores.

All are welcome downtown! If you do not drink wine, we hope you will still #getdowntown and enjoy an evening of live music and shopping with the merchants of Laurel Main Street!

 

Resources for Small Business Owners

To our dear business owners, Main Street supporters, members, and partners:

We understand that these are uncertain times and uncharted waters. We are working to compile a list of resources that may be beneficial to you and your business. If you have not already, please join the Laurel Main Street Members Facebook Group. We are sharing information there as quickly as we receive it. Additionally, we are listing resources here, on our blog, in the hopes that you’ll be able to find the information that is most helpful to you, all in one place. Laurel has always been a city known for its tenacity, and this time will be no different.

We Are Laurel!

For information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the following government public health organization websites:

For resources related to small business, please visit the following websites:

Mississippi Power Project Share & Community Connection

Mississippi Power, through its Foundation, has announced a $350,000 commitment to assist South Mississippi residents, local charities and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $350,000 will be dispersed via Mississippi Power’s Project Share and Community Connection programs:

·         $200,000 for Small Businesses – Businesses with 50 employees or less are eligible for this new Project Share program distributed through Catholic Charities.

·         $100,000 for Project Share – Distributed through Catholic Charities. Any Mississippi Power customer with a demonstrated financial need may be eligible to apply for Project SHARE by simply calling 1-855-847-0555.

·         $50,000 for Local Charities – Food banks, non-violence and youth shelters, and other agencies that count on Community Connection donations to operate, especially during a crisis.

We suggest that you call Catholic Charities at 1-855-847-0555 for more information or to apply. 

Help for Live Event Cancellations

If you feel led to assist in efforts to support members of our community who have been impacted through the cancellation of live events, here is sample language to send when writing or emailing elected officials.

Sample letter to Congress:

Subject: Protect Live Events Small Businesses
Dear Representative [NAME], 

As you consider relief legislation to assist Americans in responding to COVID-19, I am writing to urge you to include resources to assist those of us for whom congregating in large gatherings is actually our living. 

I work in the live events industry and we have seen our revenues dry up virtually overnight. I know we all have to do our part to fight this pandemic and that stopping large gatherings through social distancing is our best approach. My hope is that the assistance you are developing provides fast, substantial, and easily accessible aid for small businesses like mine.

Thank you for considering my request, and thank you for all you are doing to help us get back on our feet after this crisis.

Sincerely,

[CREATOR NAME], [TITLE]
[BUSINESS NAME]
[BUSINESS ADDRESS]

Reminders