New Haven residents encouraged to shop locally for their last-minute Christmas gifts | Connecticut News

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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – The countdown to Christmas is on and that clock is ticking.

There’s now less than ten days to get your shopping done and with time winding down, the Elm City is pushing for folks to shop local.

With the warm weather, it might not feel that Christmas is next weekend, but downtown shop owners say its been a pretty good season so far and the city feels the measures it has in place to keep people safe in a pandemic are playing a role.

Inside Elm City Games, there’s something for everyone, like thousands of board games, guaranteeing hours of fun with friends and family.

“The classics, we sell a ton of Monopoly. We have 10,000 games in here and Monopoly is still a perennial classic,” Matt Fantastic, co-owner of Elm City Games, tells us.

From those classics to modern games designed and developed in Connecticut, including some by Fantastic.

“One of the things that’s really great and coming here and shopping locally is that you have an expert opinion,” Fantastic stated.

And that’s what the Elm City is pushing.

From downtown and New Haven’s Ninth Square, to the shops at Yale, Christmas shoppers are out and about in search of that perfect present.

From Kiara Matos’ handmade ceramics…

“It’s a beautiful opportunity to give meaningful gifts,” Matos explained.

To supporting independent artists and small brands at Strange Ways.

“A lot of people looking for holiday gifts and we’ve been seeing a lot of traffic. It’s been awesome being in downtown New Haven,” Alex Dakouls of Strange Ways said.

And the city’s economic development director says the city’s mask mandate, which was brought back in August and staying in place at least through the holidays, is playing a part.

“A lot of our retailers are reporting really strong business this year and part of that is the mask mandates, so there is extra protection for both the customers and for the employees, gives everyone a sense of protection when you’re downtown,” Michael Piscitelli, New Haven’s director of economic development, stated.

And while we’ve all heard about supply chain issues this holiday season, owners, like Matthew Feiner, with the Devil’s Gear Bike Shop says when it comes to gifts, looking local is the way to go.

“Shopping local helps end that problem. Shopping local helps support the local economy. Shopping local puts money in all of our pockets,” Feiner added.

A list of the shops and restaurants participating in New Haven’s Holiday Passport can be found here.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.





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