BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- Small Business Saturday, which fell on November 28th, was celebrated with local festivities in downtown Bloomfield, New Jersey. The Bloomfield Center Alliance sponsored activities such as holiday caroling, ice sculpting and a “Holiday Hunt,” where shoppers searched for deals and prizes at local retailers.

The day’s events were organized “not only to usher in the holiday shopping season,” said Ollyn Lettman, the Executive Director of the Bloomfield Center Alliance, “but also as a way to encourage people to support small businesses.” Local stores not only bring jobs and revenue to municipalities, said Lettman, but by being able to get to know your local retailer, they also foster a sense of community.

Jimmy Chiappa, the “ice sculpture king” and owner of Jimmy’s Artistic Creation, created a custom ice sculpture and did a live demonstration for shoppers. “Remember that the stores are still open and we want to promote them as much as possible,” Chiappa said. 

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TAPintoTV spoke with a range of local retailers and shoppers who were in attendance. “When you shop these stores and you walk up and down, you feel the luxury of community,” said Wendell Drummond, a resident of Bloomfield. “It brings a clear spirit.” 

“The Bloomfield Center Alliance wants to capture that sense of community that we are all hoping for,” said Andrew Reiman, who owns Jalapeño Cycling with his wife. “They do a really good job of that.” 

“You need to shop small, you need to shop local, shop your mom and pop store,” said Alonya Holley, owner of Save & Rave Consignment and Regal Kidz Emporium. “They’re the backbone to this community, they’re the backbone to America. Without them, we would just have a different type of society.”

On their website, the Bloomfield Center Alliance has a directory of local stores and retailers at www.bloomfieldcenter.com.