small business Saturday

Christian Lockamy (left) and Debbie Malenfant (right) pass out Shop Small canvas bags to passing shoppers during last year’s Small Business Saturday event. This year’s Small Business Saturday will be Nov. 30.

Downtown Elizabeth City is going to be a busy place on Dec. 6.

In addition to the First Friday ArtWalk and the Pasquotank County Yacht Club’s annual Lighted Boat Parade, three new downtown businesses will host grand-opening celebrations that day.

Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. Director Debbie Malenfant told ECDI’s board last week that Brackwater Brush, Sanctuary Designs and Willow Tree Medicine will host grand-opening activities on Dec. 6.

“A lot of new business will be celebrating grand openings on that day,” Malenfant said.

Malenfant also told the ECDI board that Prodigy Real Estate has opened an office on Main Street and that Big Boss Burritos is slated to open in January on Poindexter Street.

Malenfant also said downtown businesses are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, which is Nov. 30. Downtown shops are planning various activities and specials that day, she said.

“It’s one day out of the year that is a marketing promotion to remind people to shop small,” Malenfant said. “The small businesses in a small community are extremely important because they are the ones who give to the local organizations, they are the ones who support all of us here locally. They provide an experience for our community. It is extremely important for our community to support our small businesses.”

City Manager Rich Olson updated the ECDI board on several projects in the downtown area. Coast Guard Park is close to being finished and work on the new senior center is on proceeding on schedule. The center, which the city jointly owns with Pasquotank County, is expected to open in March.

“We are on time, on budget and all the demo work inside is complete,” Olson said of the senior center, formerly the home of The Daily Advance. “They are constructing the new walls that are going in there. There have been no surprises.”

Olson also urged the ECDI to support the joint city and county capital campaign that is raising money to furnish the center. The current senior center off Ward Street is 4,200 square feet while the new center is 15,000 square feet.

“We would love ECDI to contribute to the capital campaign,” Olson said. “The capital campaign is to buy the necessary items and equipment needed for the upgrade of the facility.’’

Olson also told the ECDI board that a new trash compactor will be located near Weatherly Lofts once the 44-unit apartment building opens downtown.

“We are reworking our trash districts downtown,” Olson said. “We hope to have something for the (City Council) Finance Committee the second meeting of January. We are evaluating everything down there and we realize that the 44 condos and Pailin’s Alley will be using that. We are trying to assign them (compactors) to a specific district.’’