LAFAYETTE, La. — While most of us are looking forward to having some delicious Thanksgiving dinner this week, many have their eyes set on the weekend.
Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season and area businesses are hoping to encourage folks to buy local.
"There's always Black Friday, there's always Cyber Monday, but I think the most important day is gonna be Small Business Saturday," said Megan Arceneaux, who cut the ribbon Tuesday morning for her new Downtown Lafayette store Hub City Cycles.
The boom in online shopping in recent years has reduced the number of shoppers who visit brick and mortar retail stores. Small Business Saturday was created to bring attention to local small businesses who have struggled in recent years against big-box and online retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon.
Lafayette Economic Development Authority President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux says that $48 of every $100 spent locally goes right back into the community. He added that "everytime you go and buy something that's from someone who's not local, in essence, you're taking a dollar away or two dollars away from supporting your schools, and your roads, and your drainage projects, because those dollars go into those projects."
Local business owners add that buying local is more than just shopping. It can become an experience.
"It's also great to see what unique products people locally have, a lot of stuff that you're not gonna find online or if you do it's gonna be a hard search typically," explains Cathi Pavy. Pavy and her husband Francis own Pavy Art & Design in Downtown Lafayette which opened in April. They are hoping to see an increase in traffic at their store this Saturday.
"We have this hashtag that's called #LetDowntownSurpriseYou because you can come downtown and maybe discover a new restaurant or an awesome little record store or we have the bike shop. There's just so many great businesses and things happening in Lafayette right now," Arceneaux says. Her bike shop is offering free lifetime maintenance on any bike purchased this weekend.
Many other local businesses are offering special deals as well.