Yes, you can shop a sidewalk sale this weekend! The annual Midcity ‘Dog Days’ sidewalk sale is going online, bringing together more than 200 local small businesses from 40 District neighborhoods together for DC Dog Days.
For the last 20 years, small businesses along 14th and U Streets NW have looked forward to the ‘Dog Days’ sale when thousands of shoppers were drawn to the tables, tents and treats offered along the streets. “It is a big deal,” said Michele Molotsky, Manager of Logan Circle Main Street. “For some of the merchants, next to the holidays, it;s probably one of the biggest days of the year.”
When COVID-19 hit, that big deal –and the big deals –were in jeopardy. So, Molotsky confered about what to do with some of the lead organizers of Dog Days. Those include Pixie Windsor of Miss Pixie’s, Diane Gross of Cork Wine Bar and Market and Gina Schaefer of Logan and Frager’s Hardware about what to do.
“I think we were all feeling a bit daunted until someone put me in touch with Mallory Shelter of Mallory Shelter Jewelry, and things clicked into place,” Molotsky said.
Mallory had experience putting together online events to help District small businesses. In April, she organized DC Shop Small, an initiative that started as a way to garner online sales for local businesses shuttered because of COVID-19.
Together with business improvement and main street organizations all over the District, Mallory and Molotsky decided to make the sale even bigger –online
The two hashed it out, divided up tasks, and the idea came together in only three weeks, Molotsky said.
Support Small Business
It was a rush not only to save the Dog Days Sale, but by doing so to help save the participating small businesses. With the District in phase 2, it may feel like the worst is over. But is critically important to support local business right now, Molotsky said. “Most of the PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] money did not got to small businesses for a number of reasons,” she said. “It’s a extremely difficult time for small businesses.”
At least 24 restaurants alone have closed in the District since March 16, when Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) ordered restaurants to close dining rooms in order to fight the virus. A survey by the US Chamber of Commerce found that 65 percent of small businesses are concerned about having to close again or stay closed if there is another wave of COVID-19, a number that jumps to 85 percent among those that were already temporarily closed.
Quavaro Leather Goods co-owner Pial Vega said the sale is a wonderful opportunity for customers to seel many local small businesses in one online event, and take advantage of summer sales at the same time.
“We chose to be a part of DC Dog Days because these times have certainly been challenging and have put small businesses in survival mode,” Vega said. “To be honest, it feels really wonderful to be a part of a community of small businesses who are all staying optimistic, motivated and looking forward towards better days!”
Deals and Specials
Despite the challenges they face, most businesses participating in the DC Dog Days Sale are offering special offers and discounts as part of the sale. Quavaro is offering 20 percent off leather goods site-wide and free shipping; Hill games and puzzle shop Labyrinth (645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is offering 10 percent off online orders and a summer clearance sale with items reduced by up to 40 percent.
Shoppers can tour the DC Dog Days website, shopping by categories such as ‘salon + spa’, ‘food + beverage’, and ‘retail + shops’. Within each category, customers can visit each store by clicking on the logo to see the specials, offers and sales.
Sweet boutique Chocolate Chocolate (1130 Connecticut Ave. NW) is offering 25 percent off all their sweet selection, including imported chocolates, chocolate monuments and no sugar added treats. Mathnasium of Capitol Hill is offering a $100 certificate to use in all our programs on top of current promotions, and Sparrow Moving is offering free packing!