What: Shop Small Holiday Market featuring about 100 local makers and small businesses, spread out in accordance to CDC’s event guidelines. FREE ADMISSION
When: 10 am – 7 pm Saturday, Nov 28, 2020 (aka Small Business Saturday)
Where: Along Beach Blvd S, downtown Gulfport 33707
Address for GPS: Gulfport Welcome Center, 3101 Beach Blvd S. Maps of the downtown businesses will be available.
Why: To make it fun & easy for people to do their holiday shopping with local small businesses
More information: bestholidaymarket.eventbrite.com or 727-637-5586
OCT 26, 2020
GULFPORT, FL – As we all know, 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, and especially for small businesses and local makers. When the world went on pause because of the covid pandemic in March, many small shops and restaurants had to shut completely and many local makers lost their main source of income, as festivals and other events were put on indefinite hold.
But even during a pandemic, businesses persevered, and they pivoted and they waited, and now they are ready to celebrate – safely – during Small Business Saturday’s Shop Small Holiday Market, a collaboration between the Gulfport Merchants Chamber, SIK Promotions and LocalShops1.
The event features about 100 local makers and small businesses, and takes place 10 am to 7 pm Saturday, Nov 28, 2020, all along Beach Blvd South from 28th Avenue South to the Shore Blvd in downtown Gulfport. In addition to all the vendors, consumers will be able to enjoy the more than 40 shops and restaurants in downtown Gulfport. Maps of the downtown businesses will be available at the Gulfport Welcome Center, 3101 Beach Blvd S.
Admission is free and open to everyone, including well-behaved pets on leashes. The market is co-sponsored by the City of Gulfport.
“We’re thrilled beyond belief to have the Small Business Holiday Marketplace in Gulfport on Small Business Saturday,” said Barbara Banno, president of the Gulfport Merchants Chamber. Not only does this give people a chance to re-discover and visit Gulfport, it offers people a way to support our family owned businesses and Gulf Coast makers and artists. Because we’re committed to Gulfport STRONG protocols, people can shop the marketplace and feel comfortable.
SIK Promotions will be handling all the day-of logistics, taking extra precautions to follow CDC recommendations for safe events: the vendors will be lined up, socially distance style, all along Beach Blvd S, and required to wear masks. Event guests are encouraged to wear masks as well, and Chamber volunteers will be making the rounds and distributing free masks, courtesy of Visit St Pete Clearwater and the City of Gulfport.
“With the holidays right around the corner, the Shop Small Holiday Market is the ideal occasion for shoppers to support local businesses and makers for their gift giving needs,” said Suzanne King, president of SIK Promotions. “Shop small and don’t get mauled at the mall!”
Parking is free, with no time limits. Beach Blvd is closed for the event, but there is plenty of parking along Shore Blvd, the rec center, library parking lot and theater parking lot (on Beach between 26th and 28th Ave S). Parking on side streets is also available. Please check signage for rules. The city’s trolley will also be running to and from off-site parking areas, with limited seating for safety. There is no cost to ride the trolley.
“Local businesses need us more than ever, so I’m thankful that we all can work together to give local makers and small businesses an opportunity to have a successful — and SAFE — holiday event,” said Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1.
The organization typically hosts Shopapalooza Festival, a massive weekend festival at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg, but the scope of the event (one of the largest buy local holiday shopping festivals in the country) and all its interactive components were not a good fit for a pandemic year.
“This year’s Shop Small Holiday Market won’t have bands and dancers and climbing walls and all the ‘bells and whistles’ that we all love about ‘Palooza (because that all just doesn’t seem smart to do during a pandemic), but it will have what matters most: local makers and small businesses who pour their hearts into their businesses and into our local communities,” Venouziou said.
Shopapalooza Festival returns to St. Petersburg Nov 27-28, 2021.
About the Gulfport Merchants Chamber
The Gulfport Merchants Chamber’s mission it is to help stimulate and support the well-being and economic growth of its members. Gulfport has been called funky, eclectic, artsy, charming, progressive, welcoming, warm, and yes, even weird. We are a small town, but we have a big heart. It’s easy to make yourself at home here. Visit us and we think you’ll agree.
About SIK Promotions
SIK Promotions, Inc. produces, promotes and manages festivals and events in the Tampa Bay, Pinellas County area of Florida. They are well known for unique festivals, bringing interactive performers, live musicians, costume contests, themed vendors and free family fun to a growing number of communities in the Sunshine State.
LocalShops1, launched in 2008, is Tampa Bay’s source for all things local. Our mission is to provide advocacy, support and education to locally owned, independent businesses throughout the region. In addition to networking socials, educational workshops, and large-scale festivals, LocalShops1 provides the buylocaltampabay.com online shopping platform