Shoppers, businesses brace for unique Black Friday
With Black Friday looming, local businesses in the Truckee-Tahoe area are left juggling the balance between discovering deals and battling through heightened regulations.
That’s led many local businesses to gear up for one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season.
“We know that during COVID times, it’s important for you to feel safe,” said Tahoe Mountain Sports’ Siobhan Kenney. “That’s why we are offering 30- or 60-minute private shopping appointments.”
Along Tahoe’s North Shore, regional businesses have teamed up to help make the holiday season more rewarding by offering a five-week scavenger hunt in order to drive locals and visitors to compete in shopping-related challenges.
“Many local businesses are struggling to survive, and employees may be laid off as we approach the holiday season,” said Jeffrey Hentz, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “I urge everyone to commit their support for small businesses and give gifts from the talented artisans and unique retail stores that comprise North Lake Tahoe’s five districts. Our shopping and dining choices are hugely impactful to local business success.”
The contest will kick off Saturday, and be held on the Goosechase app, which is free to download. Once users join the contest they will see more than 100 challenges to complete with awards being given out to teams and individuals. At the end, Shop Local customers will be eligible for a grand prize.
Along the North Shore, officials have swiveled their focus toward online shopping ahead of Thanksgiving.
“We have pivoted our marketing and communication strategies significantly,” said Liz Bowling, director of global communications & media relations for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “In past years the pre-holiday timeframe was an opportunity to promote travel to the region with a goal of supporting local businesses through shoulder season. This year we (the Marketing Cooperative) are focused on educational content that is rooted in COVID safety measures but also maintains a level of support for the restaurants and retailers struggling with new waves of restrictions. We have put together a comprehensive Know Before You Go Guide, which stresses the importance of planning ahead. We also recently launched the Takeout Tahoe initiative to highlight dining to-go options in North Tahoe.”
Read more about the shop local campaign on page 10.
Currently, shoppers in Placer and Nevada counties are under the state’s most restrictive tier, which prohibits gatherings and all non-essential activities between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“We know from our stay-at-home order this spring, which flattened the curve in California, that reducing the movement and mixing of individuals dramatically decreases COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a news release. “We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly. Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.
“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge. We must be strong together and make tough decisions to stay socially connected but physically distanced during this critical time. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting public health officer. “It is especially important that we band together to protect those most vulnerable around us as well as essential workers who are continuing their critical work amidst this next wave of widespread community transmission across the state. Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again.”
Cases in the state have spiked by roughly 50% during the first week of the month, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom and California’s public health officials to heighten restrictions for local businesses and organizations.
Under the purple tier, of which 45 counties fall into, the state allows hair salons and barbershops to remain open indoors. Bars, breweries, gyms, places of worship and restaurants are required to serve patrons outdoors. Retail spaces including shopping malls can be open at 25% capacity.
To find more information on local restrictions, visit http://www.cdph.ca.gov.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643.
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