Petite Chou Chou is stocked and ready for Tax Free Week and back-to-school shopping. (Photo courtesy Petite Chou Chou)

Connecticut’s annual “Tax-Free Week” officially started yesterday, August 18, and continues through this Saturday, August 24. The state-sponsored promotion eliminates the 6.35 percent state sales tax on clothing and footwear that costs less than $300 per item.

A great incentive for back-to-school shopping the week prior to the start of school, the sales tax holiday is also a great boon to local retailers, who hope the promotion will drive more shoppers to shop locally.

Petite Chou Chou, the children’s shoe store at 5 River Road, is geared up Tax Free Week, especially knowing shoppers will be looking for savings the week before school and the fall season. Store manager Colleen Roberts said they’ve stocked up on favored brands. “We have great Vinatage Havana items, like really cute tops, plaid shirts and sweaters. We have great Malibu Sugar tank tops and we always have Twinkle Toes and Minnetonka—people love those.” The store carries shoe styles, including sneakers, for both boys and girls up to size 6.

The week benefits grown ups as well as kids; anyone looking to supplement their wardrobes with new fall styles—or even get a jump on holiday shopping—are in luck. “So many people come in and save even more money on early Christmas shopping, we have gift items for all ages,” said Marie Wendorff, the owner of Witchy Poo, the accessories shop at 24 Center Street.

Wilton’s State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-143) sent out an email to constituents to encourage them to take part in the savings benefits of Tax Free Week. Acknowledging that the state would lose revenue her statement in the email put it in perspective for residents. “Even though the state’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that the state will give up about $3.5 million during this year’s tax holiday, I believe the benefits for consumers and businesses are worth the revenue loss,” she wrote.

Visit Connecticut’s department of revenue services website for more information about which items are exempt and which aren’t during the tax holiday.