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Small Business Showcased in Adams Morgan

By Lisa Duperier*

Accompanying images can be viewed in the current issue PDF

Adams Morgan’s participation in the District’s second annual “Small Business Saturday” on November 26, 2011 was deemed a success by the organizers and business owners who took part.

Given the national focus on “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” immediately following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday (SBS) was first touted in 2010 as a way to encourage people to support local and neighborhood shops and restaurants. More publicity and ads surrounded this year’s program as local partners created activities to continue positive effects into 2012.

Adams Morgan Main Street organized events to showcase retail and other neighborhood businesses, with more than 30 of these offering some type of special. Adams Morgan’s local Farmer’s Market celebrated its 40th anniversary.

National sponsors such as American Express, Clear Channel, and Women in Public Policy added a needed push. WASH-FM 97.1 provided music and giveaways.

“Generally,” referring to the Saturday following Thanksgiving, “this is one of the slowest Saturdays of the year in our neighborhood business area,” said Hallie Del Villan, Creative Director of Skynear Furnishings; “but it was different this year.”

In the last 15 years, 65 percent of all new jobs nationwide were created by small businesses. According to Janet Lugo-Tafur, Executive Director of Adams Morgan Main Street, “Shopping local produces a true multiplier effect, since our truly local small businesses reinvest in the DC economy at a 60 percent higher rate than do chains or online retailers.

Centralized activities at the Sun Trust Plaza planned by Adams Morgan Main Street included the Obama Administration’s Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Marie Johns, speaking about the importance of small business to the economy; the newly confirmed director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), Harold Pettigrew, reading a Mayor Vince Gray Proclamation; and  Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham who not only spoke of the critical importance of neighborhood small business in job creation for DC, but who also had the honor of joining in the cutting of the spectacular SBS-themed cake that had been created by the brand new neighborhood retail bakery, Sweet Themez.

Demos and fashions punctuated the program with the Tibet Shop showing its wares, including a wonderful singing bowl, and Idle Time Books showing special coffee table books, calendars, and cards as holiday gifts. Owner Val Morgan noted their continuous retail presence in Adams Morgan for 30 years and said, “This is a shout-out for Adams Morgan Main Street for its promotion of retail.” Hot coffee and cider was cheerfully purveyed by Tryst owner Constantine Stavropoulis’ “right hand,” Jocelyne DeHass. High marks were given to the fashion show put on by Violet Boutique as well as winter wear by Skynear.

Various program segments highlighted particular businesses. “Gifts Galore” highlighted Adams Morgan’s newest jewelry business, Turquoise, as well as Idle Time Books, Tibet Shop, and with mentions of Crooked Beat, Toro Mata, Tienda Malik, Little Shop of Flowers, Capitol Hemp, and Brass Knob. “Looking Good in Winter” showcased Planet Pet, Skynear Furnishings, MINT Club Spa Retreat, and with mentions of And Beige, Joy’s Spa, Beauty Tu You, Mercedes Bien, Meeps Fashions, Morton’s Fine Art, Fleet Feet, Smash, and Salon XYZ.

Drawings were held throughout the day for 15 cash cards worth $25 each donated by American Express. Susan Borja, one of the lucky winners, said, “This is a great time to win extra shopping money!” Skynear’s owner, Lynn Skynear, said that she had more publicity, purchases, and attention generated to her long-time retail business from SBS and its related activities of Adams Morgan Main Street than from other promotions.

In addition to all the local TV stations, two private film crews also filmed footage to use for the upcoming year and placement in next year’s Small Business Saturday national commercials. Among neighborhood retailers being filmed A.M. Wine Shoppe, where one film crew spent four hours and also paid owner Justin Abad who said, “Small Business Saturday and the attention brought to our business and other retail by Adams Morgan Main Street was terrific, and we are excited about the prospect of continued attention for 2012!”

Mellow Mushroom provided pizza for the volunteers and participants and Perry’s concluded the day with hot mulled cider samples. Other food establishments mentioned or providing specials included El Tamarindo, Casa Oaxaca, Amsterdam Falafelshop, Jack Rose, Las Canteras, Bourbon, Instant Noodles, Bardia’s New Orleans Café, Grill from Ipanema, Chief Ike’s, and Jamaican Joe’s.

*Lisa Duperier, a Texan, has resided in Adams Morgan for more than 20 years. She serves as President of Adams Morgan Main Street (www.ammainstreet.org), on the Board of Kalorama Park, and with other volunteer activities.

Copyright (c) 2012 InTowner Publishing Corp. and Adams Morgan Main Street Group. All rights reserved.