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Shoppers urged to buy locally

Published 12:00pm Friday, November 29, 2013

The Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce is actively participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday campaign, themed appropriately “Shop Small.” Vanessa Lynch, chamber executive director, said the local effort began several months ago.

“We became an official participant this year,” she said. “We’ve been encouraging the community and chamber members to shop small to support our locally-owned independent businesses.”

Small Business Saturday – this year Nov. 30 – is wedged between the giants of shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The campaign – dedicated to supporting small businesses – enters the fray for the fourth straight year.

Consumers are asked to make a special effort to shop at locally-owned stores to both help fuel the economy and support their neighbors.

“This is something we plan to do here each year and we hope it will grow,” said Lynch. “All supporting businesses were given $25 gift cards from American Express to be used at their place of business on Saturday.

“We know it will grow as people become more aware. It’s a day that we are really and truly passionate about. I think people really take for granted the major economic impact that these Mom and Pop shops make on the community. They carry a lot of the weight in charitable giving.

On average 52 percent of what you spend at an independent, locally owned business stays in the community.”

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which helped launch the campaign in 2010, sales made during the holiday shopping season are critical to the success of many small businesses.

“Small business owners contribute to their communities all year long by creating jobs, providing unparalleled products and services and keeping communities healthy and vibrant,” said Dan Danner, NFIB president and CEO. “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for each of us to give back, to invest some of our hard-earned dollars back into our local and community businesses and keep Main Street America strong. I encourage every American to shop small this coming Saturday.”

Lynch said marketing materials provided to local participating businesses include banners, stickers and magnets that are intended to serve as a reminder for shoppers to support hometown retailers.

“To me, there’s just something about going into a locally owned shop and knowing that my purchase is helping keep their doors open because it truly is,” she said. “It’s so easy to take for granted that these places will always be there, but some of our locally owned businesses are really struggling and need our support.”

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