Downtown Portsmouth prepares for holiday season

Staff Report

Downtown Portsmouth businesses and Main Street Portsmouth are preparing for the holiday season again this year with their two annual shopping events, the Holiday Open House and Small Business Saturday.

Holiday Open House, a shopping event and preview of Small Business Saturday, will be today (Saturday) during business hours. Downtown businesses will have various discounts and giveaways, alongside holiday appropriate refreshments and treats. Small Business Saturday, a nationwide event sponsored and largely made possible by American Express, will return November 24, during regular business hours. This event will showcase worthy specials and discounts at the downtown businesses choosing to participate, mainly those on Second Street, as well as a plethora of freebies donated by American Express and managed by Main Street Portsmouth.

“Holiday sales are instrumental in the success of many downtown businesses,” Main Street Portsmouth Executive Director Joseph Pratt explained. “The overhead for these beautiful old spaces is always higher and the owners are almost always guilty of investing a lot of personal finances in the success of their business, so keeping them in mind during the holiday season makes a big impact for these establishments.”

Pratt went on to further discuss the importance of shopping with local businesses.

“Our local businesses are owned and operated by some of the hardest working people I know. They are the ones running the business every single day, usually without staff. They are the ones finding time in the day to do their taxes and banking, pay bills, and more, all while seeing to customers” Pratt said. “They are the ones responsible for restocking and marketing all of their products. It is not your average job. It takes many more than 40 hours a week to operate a small business and it is important to make their time worth the effort by shopping locally, keeping our money here with our friends and neighbors.”

Sudzy Nixon, owner of Sudzy’s Pinup Palace, isn’t only planning her holiday season lineup with new dresses, but also fitting in a business relocation. Her Gallia Street business of three years is moving to another downtown location soon. Despite this, she isn’t letting it get in the way of her regular shopping traffic and the responsibility she feels for her regular customers.

“I’m doing my best to be available to my customers during the holidays,” Nixon said. “Despite planning to move soon, we will be open at our current location until Dec 15th. It’s great to bring people items they want to wear for parties and events. I’m excited for the Small Business Saturday sales throughout downtown. Most of the small business owners I know rely on holiday sales to pay high winter bills.”

Nixon will be involved in both events, like many of the downtown businesses.

To stay updated on Main Street Portsmouth events, follow their page on Facebook, where they will be showcasing many of the deals and specials this coming Saturday live. Main Street Portsmouth is a nonprofit dedicated to making downtown Portsmouth a place we are all proud to live, work and play. The group focuses their efforts on beautification and place making, bringing people and activities downtown at over 55 events a year, and economic vitality. The group is funded by the City of Portsmouth, the County, through their own fundraising efforts, and memberships from individuals, families, and businesses, including corporate sponsors Southern Ohio Medical Center, Glockner Family of Dealerships, and OSCO. To speak with someone regarding their program, call Joseph Pratt at 740.464.0203 or email

Staff Report