COCOA VILLAGE, Fla. — Local business owners couldn’t predict what the turnout would be for Small Business Saturday, so the shops at Cocoa Village — a hot spot for tourists — decided to make an event out of it.
Originally, they planned to host a “Sip and Stroll” event, but due to COVID-19, they couldn’t hand out food and drinks.
So, they turned it into “Shop Small Then Sip.”
Village Beach House Owner Jon Shaneberger said the event was much-needed. “People get a ticket, enter raffles for contests and prizes, and at the end of the day, they cash in that ticket for a bottle of wine. So, even though they can't drink at the store, they can drink afterwards.”
Shaneberger noticed, with more travel plans cancelled, a lot of people were shopping for holiday home decorations.
“I have a lot of customers coming in that had to cancel vacation. They don't go out to eat, so they go nuts and fix the patio like they've never done before,” Shaneberger explains.
Helen Sweet visited from Davenport with her husband and friends, she shopped for some eclectic home décor.
“I already asked my friend, ‘how big is your trunk?’” She added, “You're supporting someone who has a family. They have a family and children, and during these days, they need the business to survive.”
Cocoa Village has about 60 mom and pop shops along with non-chain restaurants.
Event participants took their event ticket and raffle tickets and completed maps of the shops they visited for a chance to win a grand prize of $200 or four $100 prizes.