Saturday is Shop Local Day

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Apr 30, 2014 - 01:42 PM

Shop Local Day will be held Saturday in Gloucester and Mathews counties. Organizers said the event is a time to focus on the importance of how local businesses positively impact the community.

Sponsored by Chesapeake Bank, the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, and Mathews County businesses, the event is intended to emphasize the importance of shopping in our communities instead of in nearby areas. Dollars spent here, said Paula Milsted, director of marketing for Chesapeake Bank, stay in the local area and don’t go to some large out-of-state business that might have a local presence.

The promotional effort is aimed at small businesses, Milsted said, who are major players in providing many specialty services and jobs in the region.

As of Friday, 81 Gloucester merchants and 41 in Mathews had signed up to participate in the effort, she said. Some businesses were having Shop Local promotions on more days than this Saturday, with product discounts, drawings, refreshments and other specials planned.

Milsted said that more than 300 merchants in all have signed up in Chesapeake’s footprint, which also includes the Northern Neck and Williamsburg.

This is the fourth time Chesapeake has spearheaded the Shop Local effort, she said, with each time proving a success and well-supported by local residents. The first Shop Local in the area was held in the fall of 2012, Milsted said, followed by similar efforts in the spring and fall of 2013. Already plans are in the works for another Shop Local promotion this fall, she added.

One study said local business generates 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail merchants, said Makalia Records, executive chamber of the Gloucester Chamber. Another report shows that “shopping locally cuts down on processing, packaging and transportation waste, leading to less pollution,” a chamber bulletin said.