By THOMAS HINDLE — November and December are two of the busiest shopping months of the year. The Hyattsville Community Development Corp (HyCDC) is helping small businesses throughout the city and surrounding area ready themselves for the upcoming holiday madness.
The HyCDC has been an integral community partner since 2001 and continues to promote local businesses through its “shop small” efforts. Their biggest annual effort is Small Business Saturday, a nationwide event that takes place the day after Black Friday (Small Business Saturday is on Nov. 24 this year.)
“We want to encourage shoppers to be mindful about where they’re spending their money,” said Mary Imgrund, economic development coordinator for the HyCDC.
The HyCDC relies on both traditional and more forward marketing approaches, including pushing events and opportunities through email and social media. The HyCDC’s efforts focus on encouraging citizens to support their community, according to Imgrund.
“We try to make people realize that when they shop at small businesses, they’re feeding money back into the community,” Imgrund said.
To best serve Hyattsville’s residents and visitors, the HyCDC worked hard to develop close relationships with the city’s businesses. HyCDC Executive Director Stuart Eisenberg’s time as city council president helped.
“We’ve known Stu since he was on the city council. He’s been helping us out [since] before the CDC had an office,” said Chris Militello, co-owner of Arrow Bicycle.
Militello and his staff plan to participate in Small Business Saturday, distributing official “Shop Small” tote bags and offering deals.
“The CDC were the first people we went to when we started this place. We participate in Small Business Saturday every year,” Militello said.
Other stores have also reaped the benefits of the HyCDC’s influence on the community. Sue Older-Mondeel, owner of Tanglewood Works, said she has found the HyCDC incredibly helpful.
“The CDC embraced being a point of contact for us. They’re a real backbone for small business,” said Older-Mondeel.
Having developed a relationship with the HyCDC, Tanglewood Works will participate in Small Business Saturday this year. The store is already looking festive, with Christmas ornaments on display and for sale.
“We’ve been doing [Small Business Saturday] for at least five years. They support us to support the bigger, nationwide event,” Older-Mondeel said.
The HyCDC also promotes collaboration between businesses. The HyCDC organized a marketing event on Nov. 16 for owners to exchange ideas. The event will also help the HyCDC gauge the relative successes of Hyattsville businesses.
“Right now, our focus is to make sure everyone is ready for the holiday season,” said Imgrund.
Check out the HyCDC event page for an up-to-date listing of participating Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24) businesses and an online map.