Today’s news:

Consumers urged to shop local

Shop local, folks!

Santa and his horse-drawn sleigh helped kick-off the commerce-friendly message, adding holiday spending power to Brooklyn’s growing reputation as a cultural and shopping mecca, with a cantor down Third Avenue.

The jolly ol’ elf helped kick off Borough Hall and Brooklyn Tourism’s “Shop Brooklyn” awareness campaign to re-introduce cash-strapped shoppers to the borough’s unique neighborhoods and thriving commercial corridors %u2013 including Bay Ridge, Flatbush, Coney Island, Fort Hamilton and Kings Highway %u2013 with promotional events, advertising and consumer incentives through December 25.

To cheers from the crowds, St. Nick traveled from 88th to 84th streets during a captivating afternoon jaunt presented by the Merchants of Third Avenue and featuring holiday-themed amusements and activities for the young and the young-at-heart, including story-telling, photos with Santa, gift specials and more.

Shop Brooklyn’s spectrum of enticements champions Brooklyn’s local, small businesses and utilizes a “Brooklyn Bonus” to lure shoppers to make their purchases with area merchants. Participating stores sign up and agree to offer a Brooklyn Bonus on any day(s) of the week during the special shopping season. The bonus can be a major discount, offering, a free item or a special experience.

For more information, visit www.ishopbrooklyn.com

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