In an attempt to spur economic growth, the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts has deemed this weekend—Saturday, Aug. 13 through Sunday, Aug. 14—tax-free on any purchases less than $2,500. This is something that the state has done for one weekend each year for the past half dozen years or so.
Needham Patch asked some local business owners if they felt the tax-free weekend would help increase business, and if they were offering any special sales or deals that coincided with the tax-free incentive.
, located at 909 Great Plain Ave., has everything a hockey player wants or needs, from skates to sticks. With the youth hockey season right around the corner, the shop is having its annual sale, which started yesterday and continues through Sunday. Everything in the store is 20 percent off, and there is a big raffle in which the grand prize is Bruins tickets in the AT&T SportsDeck.
“I expect an absolute sheer amount of chaos,” store manager
Rob Arena said, adding that he will have extra staff working. “The store will be packed to the gills.”
, located at 53 Chestnut St., is also expecting a big weekend. Owner Garrett Graham said he normally doesn’t sell a single snowblower in August, but he’s having a big promotional pricing event on all snowblowers and is expecting to sell “in the dozens.”
Graham has been preparing for this since early May, when he received his first shipment of snowblowers. Customers will also be able to hold off on having them delivered right away, giving them time to clear their summer things out of their garages. Most of the other power equipment also has some kind of discount as well.
is located across the street from Needham Garden Center and will be having a 50 percent off sale on certain TVs. They’re also expecting it to be a pretty good weekend for them.
“It’s generally a good day for us,” owner David Oberman said, adding that people who have put off purchasing a big-ticket item like a big-screen TV come in on tax-free weekend when they can save a little bit of money.
, a floral design and gift shop located at 117 Chapel St., is starting a sale today that will run through Aug. 20. Owner Nancy Wright said that the holiday gives people even more reason to come in. Wright said that summer is usually a slow time of year for her, and “any incentive helps.” Most things in the store will be 10-20 percent off on Saturday.
is located at 1496 Highland Ave. Mark Murray, a part-time employee there for the past 12 years, doesn’t think tax-free weekend is as big a deal as some people make it out to be, explaining that it really only makes a difference if you’re buying big-ticket items.
Owner Al Turco agreed with Murray on the big-ticket items making the big difference.
“People will come in who have delayed their purchase,” Turco said, using examples such as bracelets in the $1,500-$2,000 range. “I think it will spur growth. It will be a big help. It has been in the past. I think it does help locally.”
Bert Wikstrom, owner of at 943 Great Plain Ave., said he didn’t think the holiday would make any difference in his business because he does mostly repair and service, rather than selling expensive items.
Overall, business owners in Needham seem to be excited about the tax holiday and are taking advantage of the opportunity—and they're hoping local shoppers will, too. Some are even offering additional incentives to bring customers in, and they all are planning to have extra staff there to help their customers.
So if you've been eying that big-ticket purchase, this might be the right weekend to buy it.