QUINCY -- A special back-to-school tax-free holiday drew many shoppers to the District Saturday.
Twenty locally-owned businesses collaborated on the holiday to help promote shopping local and keeping money in the community. The holiday is an expansion of the national Small Business Saturday movement, held annually on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.
"Our retail promotion committee got together and tried to make that a quarterly event, and we did," said Lisa Crocker, owner of Potter & Vaughn. "It really gets people out. I can tell you my shop local Saturdays are among the best days I've had with this store."
The holiday is meant to not only boost sales but to also bring in new people who may not otherwise shop in the District, the Salty Sun owner Denette Kuhlman said.
"It shows that our downtown is really coming alive again," Kuhlman said. "There are so many efforts to revitalize the downtown, and it's great for our community."
Kuhlman partnered with author Tracy Schlepphorst, writer of the Emotion Belly Books, for the day. Schlepphorst held a book signing and set up a craft activity in the store to keep children engaged while their parents shopped.
"The stores are full," Schlepphorst said. "I think people enjoy being able to walk from store to store and take in the unique variety."
Glori and Tamara Traeder stopped for breakfast at Thyme Square before making their way through the District Saturday morning. Glori said such initiatives make everyone feel vested in the community.
"We've been talking about how much the District has changed," she said. "It's nice to see interesting businesses and energized young people. We're a community, and we all depend on each other for our quality of life."