Business

You probably don’t need to be told that this is the last shopping weekend before Christmas. The holiday craze is at its peak: Traffic is a snarl, the sidewalks are packed with people, and many pockets are filled with crumpled to-do lists.

This final weekend can test the strongest holiday spirit, but as the holiday stress crescendos, there’s one holiday tradition that can defuse my irritation instantly: Christmas trees. These cheerful holiday sentinels peeking from the windows of many Island homes and businesses bring back a flood of childhood memories and restore my holiday spirit enough that I’ll even submit to overplayed Christmas songs on the radio.

November 29 is national Small Business Saturday, a day to shop local and express gratitude for the small businesses that add character and variety to our lives.

With the addition of a new winery, Building 43 Winery, and Rock Wall Wine Company’s ability to now stay open later during the summer months, Spirits Alley appears to be on the brink of a growth spurt.

After a long and frustrating renovation of the old A-1 Vacuum & Sewing location on Park Street, Sergio Silva of Team Silva Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and his wife, Rebecca Trissell of Yoga Alameda, are planning to open their his-and-hers studio Tuesday.

Sunday Crafternoons have returned to Alameda South Shore Center’s Modern Mouse.

Party Warehouse, a longtime bookend of the Park Street business district, is closing on June 28 after 16 years as the Island’s party supply store.

Hobbled by the recession, the former Pillow Park Plaza furniture store at 1419 Park Street is once again a busy, all-in-one shopper’s paradise.

Fans of Rosenblum Cellars’ prized zinfandels and Rhone varietals will only be able to sample the winery’s 50-plus wines “next to the docks in Alameda” for a few more months.

Rosenblum’s owners announced Monday that when the lease on their current East Bay visitors center on Main Street expires in June, they’ll be vacating their Island home of 27 years for Oakland’s Jack London Square.

Amidst many relatively new shops and restaurants on and surrounding Park Street – hopefully keeping people shopping in our city – is one that truly stands out with its own tremendous bit of East Bay history.

Google may be expanding its private transit service for employees from the streets of San Francisco to the waters of San Francisco Bay.