Updated: November 25, 2020 07:26 PM
Created: November 25, 2020 05:19 PM
SARATOGA SPRINGS - The need to shop small is even bigger this year.
A grassroots group is trying to make sure locally-owned businesses up and down Broadway don't go belly up in the winter of COVID.
Heidi West owns three Broadway clothing stores, including Lifestyles of Saratoga.
"I'm really nervous. I just don't have the cushion I normally have going into the first quarter," West said Wednesday.
Coming off a summer without horse racing fans and SPAC shows, West welcomes efforts by those trying to rally as many local shoppers as possible.
They call their effort "Shop Here or it Disappears."
"Honestly, it's disappearing; it's not an overstatement," said West.
Down the street at Impressions of Saratoga, Co-owner Maddy Zanetti says they're holding their own, but worries others might not make it if people don't buy local.
"Saratoga has always been so lucky. We have this great downtown, it's a gem here, but we aren't in a bubble."
The Shop Here group is planning a Saturday rally at the corner of Lake Avenue and Broadway and a pop-up shop selling all local gift baskets at Scott Varley's Broadway real estate office
"These are our neighbors," said Patty Morrison, one of the organizers of the campaign. "These are the folks that support our local sports teams, and we want to support them."
Adam Israel, another organizer, says he wants to prevent businesses from having to close because of COVID.
"We really want to get money in the storefront owners pockets, so they can survive the winter."
The effort is different from the Save Our Locals campaign from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce in that it focuses solely on Saratoga Springs.
"Anything that supports us is a great idea. I am really moved by the support," said West.
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