COVINGTON — Every year, Small Business Saturday, also known as Shop Local Saturday, falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a day after Black Friday, and two days before Cyber Monday. Placing Small Business Saturday on this weekend, which marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, encourages consumers to keep local businesses in mind as they buy gifts.
With that in mind and hoping to entice visitors to shop longer at merchants on and around the Covington Square, the Covington City Council voted 5-1 Nov. 16 to allow shoppers to carry alcoholic beverages from local restaurants with them while they shop.
Covington Community Development Director Trey Sanders said that Shop Local Saturday in Covington will be Saturday, Nov. 28, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sanders said when he talked to local merchants, one of the things they mentioned was wanting to have an open container specialty day.
“There would be no road closures, no outside events, it is just that you can go into a participating restaurant, buy a beverage in a cup and get a wristband and you can take that cup with you as you shop,” Sanders said. “Of course, you can’t carry the cup through the Square park.
“It is something that the merchants think may help keep customers looking around a little more, and clearly the restaurants would welcome the opportunity to sell beverages in the district.”
Mayor Steve Horton asked if all the restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages are required to participate.
Sanders said they are not required to take part.
“If a restaurant doesn’t want to participate, they don’t have to,” he said. “The restaurants have to purchase the cups and wristbands from the city.”
Kenneth Morgan asked if there would be more of a police presence downtown during the event.
Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton said they would have more officers on patrol in the downtown area during the event.
A motion was made and seconded to approve the open container specialty day for Nov. 28. The vote was 5-1 in favor, with Hawnethia Williams casting the dissenting vote.