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Getting Ready for Black Friday: Shop Local!

I’m not trying to be political here, but it makes me sad when a great local business closes — recently, Greenward, near my office in Porter Square, and just before that, all three Bob Slate’s (though happily a long-time customer has bought the business and re-opened one location at 30 Brattle — yay!) Local businesses give our cities character, support the local economy, offer interesting, unique products, and 9 times out of 10, give you way better customer service. Here are two recent examples I personally experienced:

Audio Lab — My stereo died ages ago, so when I finally got my act together to get a new one, I did a little research on the brand and model I wanted. Once I figured that out, I learned that I could buy it at Audio Lab, at The Garage shopping plaza in Harvard Square. Not being a big audiophile, I’d never heard of this place, but turns out they’ve been doing business in the Square for nearly 50 years. When it turned out the model I wanted was out of stock, the very nice man who runs the shop gave me $50 off the price, just for a couple days’ wait. I will definitely shop there again!

Yayla Tribal Rugs — It was such a nice surprise when I was having trouble deciding on a small rug for my bathroom and they let me take several home with me to try out in my space — no deposit, no credit card to put on file — they just took down my name and address and let me go. Can you imagine a Crate and Barrel letting you do that?

Let’s support this kind of great service by shopping local this holiday season. Here are some resources to help you to that end:

Cambridge Local First — Look for their sticker in business windows and shop there! While you’re there, pick up their directory of local businesses — I’m sure you’ll find several cool places you never even knew existed.

Somerville Local First — Same deal as CLF — look for the sticker and support the shops!


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