LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Downtown businesses are coming together one last time before the Christmas holiday. On Saturday several stores participated in the first annual "Christmas Shop Hop."
"All of us downtown want to thank all of our locals that have helped us with the shop local, you've kept our doors open," said Mary Buckley, owner of restaurant Bistro 501.
It's been a year of adjusting for small business owners in Lafayette. With Covid-19 keeping people from gathering downtown for the annual Christmas Parade, several owners wanted to do something to highlight the downtown area this holiday season by organizing a shop local event. Although many of these businesses participated in the national Small Business Saturday event the weekend after Thanksgiving, the "Christmas Shop Hop" is designed to be a cohesive event where all the businesses partner and promote the various businesses in the downtown area.
"It takes all of us," said Alicia Dunbar, owner of Retail Therapy Boutique. "I mean the downtown businesses, we've all worked together."
Working together is how they believe they've been able to survive this pandemic.
"Right now we need all the support we can get," said Ashley Jones, co-owner of Bloom Kids Collection. "We're not the big box stores, we can't compete with the big box stores so we're just all trying to come together and support each other."
These business owners collectively decided to open their doors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Several of them dressed up their window displays with holiday decorations, some even gave out snacks to shoppers.
"The downtown businesses, all together, do such a good job of supporting each other and even shopping at each other's businesses, promoting each other's events," said Amanda Kennedy, owner of Flourish Studio and Classroom.
This Christmas Shop Hop is the final event this year helping keep these businesses afloat. With several new businesses opening during this pandemic, owners are hoping this event promotes a new attitude toward shopping locally, especially as we head into another unpredictable year.
"It kind of puts the word out that there is more to Lafayette than a shopping mall," said Stephanie Deckard, owner of Mad Love Boutique. "You don't have to go to Indy to do your shopping, to find something unique to find something special."
These business owners are hoping to make this event an ongoing holiday tradition. The owners will be partnering with the Tippecanoe Arts Federation to host more shopping events next year.