NUTLEY, NJ – With Thanksgiving later than usual on the 2019 calendar and people scrambling to the stores for Black Friday deals less than four weeks before Christmas, thousands of residents took time out of their afternoon for the much-anticipated visit from Santa Claus to Nutley.
The appearance of Jolly ‘ol Saint Nick on Friday afternoon, November 29 not only signals that Christmas is right around the corner, but also kicks off Small Business Saturday in Nutley.
The 58th Annual Santa’s Arrival at the Nutley Park Oval, an event organized by the Nutley Chamber of Commerce and made possible by local businesses, not only provides children in the community an opportunity to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, but let’s residents know that Nutley is open for business.
“The importance of this event is to bring everyone out to Nutley,” said Daniel Leon, President of Nutley Chamber of Commerce. “We usually get three to four thousand people – whether they’re from Nutley or outside of town, everyone gets to see what we have to offer.”
Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.
Created by American Express to help get more customers to visit local establishments, Small Business Saturday has grown to become a holiday shopping tradition. It was first observed in November 2010 and is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores.
Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize local brick and mortar businesses.
“We are one of the few towns left that has this type of family atmosphere and it’s a beautiful town, it’s clean, we have parks, so hopefully as people drive through town today they get to see all the different aspects of Nutley,” Leon said.
Despite the 39-degree temperature and gusty winds, the kids enjoyed witnessing Santa’s chopper land at the 50-yard-line while local business owners appreciated the extra foot traffic into their stores.
Among the major sponsors for the 2019 event was TAPinto Nutley, a locally owned small business that collected non-perishable food, personal care items, and new unwrapped toys at the front entrance gate.
“We are here at this event every year, we have a full staff covering the event, and we said to ourselves, ‘what else can we do to make it better?’” said John Lee, editorial director for TAPinto Nutley. “So in the spirit of giving back, we set up shopping carts to collect food that will go to food programs distributed by Vincent Church, and we set up a toy drive with the toys to be distributed by the Chieffo family to children in local hospitals.”
Lee continued, “one of the big things that makes local media different is that we get involved in the community, we show up, and have boots on the ground to cover the news, and we are also a part of the events that make the local community the place to be.”
Ultimate Entertainment provided music, Nutley School of Music provided caroling, and several costumed characters kept the spectators entertained while waiting for Santa’s grand entrance.
Goodie bags were also distributed to families upon entry to the Park Oval that included give-a-ways and coupons from sponsoring businesses.
“Without our chamber members and support from our local businesses, this event would not happen,” Leon added.
Since Small Business Saturday started, customers nationwide have reported spending an estimated $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants. Now in its tenth year, more consumers and communities are coming together to support small businesses.
By choosing to shop locally, consumers are investing in their neighborhoods, strengthening their communities and keeping tax dollars local.
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners made TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' starting in 2019.
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