November 11, 2020

Businesses Encourage Local Shopping With Discounts at Participating Merchants

To the Editor:

As colder weather sets in, we worry for the future of our stores and cafes. Concerns over COVID spikes are increasing, and we are heading towards a holiday season with new challenges due to the limits on capacity in our spaces. We thus want to urge everyone to make this your season of shopping local.

Since March, we have kept open thanks to the support of our customers, the thoughtful leadership in this town, an initial shot in the arm through the government PPP program, and our amazing employees. With the exception so far of additional government support, these continue to be the things that sustain us.

We are part of a delicate ecosystem, in which our businesses can only rise together and also fall together. Every new vacant storefront weakens our community. As an incentive to all of you to honor and support our inter-dependence, from November 16 through December 31, 2020, we will be honoring receipts for $20 or more spent at any of our businesses by giving 10 percent off at any of the other participating businesses within two days of the original purchase. You will help us most if you shop Mondays through Thursdays. So make the rounds, show your receipts, and save!

Sixty-eight cents of every dollar you spend locally stays in the local economy in the form of jobs, tax revenues, and more. By contrast, none of the money you spend with online retailers directly benefits your community. Where you spend your money has a direct effect on the kind of world we will all live in.

All of us have invested in making our shops and cafes places you can visit knowing that your health is our first concern. In fact, we all have set a higher bar for what this entails than CDC guidelines would indicate. The town has reinforced these actions by helping to create a civic culture in which we take care of each other by wearing masks, keeping distances, and observing all rules and guidelines. One of the first principles as small business owners right now is therefore only to let as many customers in at a time as will be truly comfortable and safe. For the holiday season, this means that it will take an extra effort to accommodate all of our customers between Thanksgiving and the New Year. We encourage you to take advantage of the quiet days of November, including midweek, knowing we are ready to help you find gifts for your loved ones and recharge your energies with a hot drink.

This initiative is launched by Hinkson’s, Homestead Princeton, JaZams Toys and Books, Labyrinth Books, Lillipies, Mandalay, Miya Table & Home, Orvana, The Princeton Record Exchange, The Princeton University Art Museum Store, Small World Coffee, and Toobydoo. But its spirit is inclusive of all Princeton merchants and restaurants.

Now more than ever, if you want your local businesses to survive, please choose to support your local everything!

Dorothea Von Moltke
Owner, Labyrinth Books
Nassau Street

Writing on behalf of participating businesses