Tax-free weekend met with high sales across county

  • RiverCulture, an organization with a focus on supporting Montague’s creative economy, hosted its inaugural Summer Bazaar and Sidewalk Sales during tax-free weekend to support local businesses. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Gauri Dani of Creatiliy Crafts said it was “very nice” to see local artists come together at the inaugural Summer Bazaar in Turners Falls on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • The Andy’s family of stores in Greenfield experienced good business during tax-free weekend. The store was also hosting a 10 percent off sale. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • The Andy’s family of stores in Greenfield experienced good business during tax-free weekend. The store was also hosting a 10 percent off sale. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • Bear Arms in Orange reported great sales numbers for tax-free weekend. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer
Published: 8/15/2021 4:21:52 PM
Modified: 8/15/2021 4:21:52 PM

The state’s tax-free weekend was met a sidewalk crafts bazaar in Turners Falls and a surge of customers at businesses across Franklin County.

Orange

In eastern Franklin County, Orange’s gun store, Bear Arms, was also reporting good sales on firearms and ammo.

“It’s always a good weekend for us,” owner Ed Hallett said. “Definitely an increase (in business).”

Hallett said increases in business weren’t just limited to his regular customers, either.

“A first-time buyer came in this morning,” Hallett said. “I’ve seen a few different faces in here today.”

He said it’s good that customers “take advantage” of tax-free weekend, including a customer who requested to purchase a gun specifically this weekend, and the store is “happy” the state decided to have the sales holiday again.

“I had a gun set aside for him, waiting for him to pick it up this afternoon or tomorrow,” Hallett said. “We love tax-free weekend.”

Sales high countywide

RiverCulture, an organization with a focus on supporting Montague’s creative economy, hosted its inaugural Summer Bazaar and Sidewalk Sales at Peskeomskut Park on Saturday. The bazaar featured local artists selling their crafts.

Dawn Spaulding, owner of the local art company Abstract Wandering, said the event provided her an opportunity to have her own booth, which she had wanted to do for the “last few years.” She said her art is inspired by local musical acts and her own travels.

“I think it’s great,” Spaulding said. “People have been really friendly. … It’s a beautiful day.”

Gauri Dani, who was representing Creatiliy Crafts, was selling handcrafted handbags. She said it was great to see local artists all in the same location.

“It’s very nice to look at all the art and everyone coming together,” Dani said. “It’s the perfect day, everyone has come out.”

She said the bazaar was not only good for selling her crafts, but actually giving her ideas for other designs.

“I can take inspiration from all the different artists,” Dani said. “Everyone has different ideas.”

Dani said the tax-free weekend was nice for her customers, but it also benefited her own creation process.

“I can buy the material for my next project,” she added.

Lynn Pelland, of LP Photography, said she thinks the craft fair is a great idea for Turners Falls.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Pelland said. “It’s a great way to support local businesses.”

She said the tax-free weekend helps drum up a little business, but the most important part of it is taking some of the burden off small business owners.

“I would say,” Pelland said, “it makes it easier for us.”

Shoppers were seen mingling with shop owners and participating in the raffle drawing. The Summer Bazaar also drew people in from the street, like New Jersey resident Cat Zhou, who was waiting for a friend and had no idea it was happening.

“It’s cute,” Zhou said. “It was a surprise.”

Zhou said her first impression was that it was “nice to see” many different vendors packed into Peskeomskut Park and the event’s outdoor nature eased any concerns about the pandemic.

“It’s bigger than it looks,” Zhou said. “It’s nice to have outdoor events.”

Farther up Avenue A in Turners Falls, Pipione’s Sport Shop owner Richard Mascavage said the tax-free weekend was helping sell “larger-ticket” items.

“Guns have been selling … combinations like rods and reels,” Mascavage said. “It definitely helps.”

Mascavage said it was “tough to just stay in business” in 2020 and tax-free weekend is a chance for businesses to make up some of that lost revenue.


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