Monroe retailers gear up for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday

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Lorraine McGowan, owner of Lorraine K. McGowan Boutique in Clock Tower Square on Main Street in Monroe, is ready for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and beyond.

First Selectman Ken Kellogg encourages residents to shop Monroe on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, a time when all of the town’s retailers are hoping for a boost in their bottom lines.

“Small businesses are the heart of our economy and all businesses help diversify our tax base and lessen the impact to our residents,” Kellogg said. “By choosing to shop locally and supporting a Monroe business, you are actively helping our entire community.”

On Thursday afternoon, The Sun interviewed two retailers on how they are gearing up for the holiday shopping weekend.

Customers at The Mason Jar, a women’s clothing store at 266 Main St., can sip hot chocolate while they shop on Small Business Saturday, during a weekend when everything is 15-percent off and receipts for purchases will include 15-percent off coupons for Republic Kitchen and Bar next door.

In Clock Tower Square, Lorraine K. Boutique’s Happy Thanksgiving Sale will offer the same 15 percent storewide discount from Friday through Monday, as well as 20 percent off Christmas items, 30 off clothing and Dune Jewelry among some of the deals.

Sisters, from left, Courtney DeLallo and Lori Miller, own The Mason Jar, a women’s clothing store at 266 Main St. in Monroe. Contributed

Both The Mason Jar and Lorraine K. Boutique will be collecting donations for the Monroe Food Pantry this weekend. Lori Miller, who owns The Mason Jar with her sister, Courtney DeLallo, said those who donate three or more items will receive a store coupon for future use.

The Mason Jar, which also offers jewelry, accessories, skin and body products, men’s and babies’ gifts and home goods, is running a social media campaign on Instagram and Facebook to promote shopping in Monroe. Participants can win a $100 shopping spree in their store.

Among other shop local efforts in town, the Monroe CT Residents Facebook page is running a Do Your Shopping in Monroe contest.

“On Small Business Saturday we want to encourage people to shop all small businesses within their community,” Miller said. “For one, it keeps tax money in town, which helps the local community to thrive. Support the area where you live, work and play.”

Miller said it’s always small businesses like hers, who support Monroe’s schools, youth sports teams and charitable organizations.

 An Early Bird Breakfast

Lorraine K. Boutique is already decked out for Christmas, with a tree, snowflake decorations hanging from the ceiling and holiday displays.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. owner Lorraine McGowan will serve her homemade breakfast casserole for an Early Bird Breakfast with coffee, tea and juice. The participants will be handed tickets good for special sales all day long.

McGowan said this coming weekend is an important time of the year for retailers. She encourages everyone to shop Monroe to support their local businesses.

“Retail isn’t as easy as it used to be,” she said. “We have the Internet and big box stores.”

McGowan said the mom and pops work hard to establish relationships with their customers.

“The girls know a lot of our customers on a first name basis,” she said. “They’re like family to us. We’ll help them find the perfect gift and wrap their presents for them. We have two different color boxes with a ribbon and Christmas ornaments to make it look festive.”

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