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Fri, Jan. 15

Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley chambers encourage you to ‘shop local’ during holidays
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers still have ways to help small businesses prosper

Shoppers and visitors to Prescott cross Montezuma and Gurley in downtown Prescott. The chambers of commerce in the tri-city area are working to bolster shopping for businesses this holiday season. (Courier file)

Shoppers and visitors to Prescott cross Montezuma and Gurley in downtown Prescott. The chambers of commerce in the tri-city area are working to bolster shopping for businesses this holiday season. (Courier file)

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley chambers of commerce are stepping up their efforts to promote shopping locally at brick-and-mortar shops before, during and after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

For example, Prescott Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Sheri Heiney said this past week that the city’s annual Small Business Saturday event remains scheduled for the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28.

Businesses in Prescott have until Monday, Nov. 16, to participate in Small Business Saturday, an annual event that American Express started in 2010 to encourage people to “Shop Small” and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.

The Prescott Chamber publishes a coupon book featuring deals for its small businesses. Consumers can stop by the Chamber building at 117 W. Goodwin St. to pick up a coupon book starting Monday, Nov. 23.

Heiney added that the annual Christmas Parade downtown, which this year is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in Prescott.

“The City of Prescott, the Prescott Downtown Partnership and the Chamber continuously encourage folks to shop locally — shop brick-and-mortar [businesses] all the time,” Heiney said. “It’s kind of our golden rule, and something we constantly push.”

While Heiney said that it is important to support local businesses during the holidays, she reminds shoppers that the Chamber’s “Shop Prescott” campaign encourages spending at local businesses year-round.

Recently renamed “Shop Prescott Responsibly/Respectfully” to encourage safety during the pandemic, the campaign highlights why buying from Prescott retailers, boutiques and artisans keeps all of those dollars in locals’ hands. When you walk around downtown or in other parts of the city, participating businesses should have Shop Prescott’s circular blue, yellow and white logo decal placed somewhere out front.

PRESCOTT VALLEY

Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Marnie Uhl honors the same philosophy as Heiney does regarding the importance of the shop-locally movement.

“We are continuing to do what we have been doing since this whole pandemic started [in March] — articulating the importance of ‘Shopping Locally, Supporting Locally and Staying Locally,’” Uhl added.

To spread the word, Uhl says the Prescott Valley chamber tapes a series of local radio spots showcasing the town’s businesses through the chamber’s social media and video platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

“And we are encouraging the giving of gift cards for our restaurants, activity centers, entertainment venues and local retailers,” Uhl added. “To our residents and community members we say, ‘Check out Prescott Valley first for your holiday gift giving.’”

CHINO VALLEY

Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Director Lorette Brashear said her community’s vendors have been hurting financially during the pandemic because so many events were either postponed or canceled this year.

Brashear hopes to stop the bleeding with Jingle Bash & Holiday Market, a holiday arts and crafts show where vendors will be masked. It has been scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 11-12 at Grace Church, 2010 S. Highway 89. A food truck will be available and Santa Claus is scheduled to make an appearance.

Jingle Bash & Holiday Market is the new name for Chino Valley’s former Hometown Christmas event, which had gone away the past two years.

On the marketing side, Brashear records a monthly podcast, which is available on iTunes and on the Town of Chino Valley’s website at chinoaz.net/511/Chino-Valley-Update-Podcast. The Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce app, “Build, Lead, Thrive,” may be downloaded on your phone’s app store, too. Businesses can become Chino Valley Chamber members through the app, where they can also pay dues.

“We’re the only [local] chamber with an app,” Brashear said.

Why is it important to shop at small businesses in your community?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that although the definition of a small business fluctuates based on the industry, the SBA generally defines a small business as a business with fewer than 500 employees.

If you go by this definition, small businesses comprise 99.7% of all employers in the U.S.

Maddie Shepherd’s “Local Shopping Statistics (2020): Facts on Buying Local” (​fundera.com/resources/local-shopping-statistics) lists 20 local shopping statistics that show how important main street businesses are for local economies as well as the American economy.

Here are those statistics:

• Small businesses generate $68 of local economic return for every $100 spent with them.

• More than $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy if every U.S. family spent just $10 a month at a local business.

• Businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7% of all U.S. employers.

• 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2019.

• Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to community causes. 

• Small businesses employ 58.9 million people.

• Local business generates 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail.

• Shipping produces 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year.

• More than a quarter of small business owners are immigrants.

• 48% of overall growth of U.S. business ownership is attributed to immigrant business owners.

• 25% of local businesses closed because of low sales or limited cash flow.

• 65% of Americans’ shopping budgets are still spent in-store.

• 73% of searchers trust a local business more because of positive reviews.

• 65 million local businesses have a Facebook page.

• But only 4 million are taking advantage of Facebook advertising products.

• 61% shop at local businesses because of their unique product selection.

• 56% of workers at locally owned businesses have high commitment scores.

• Minnesota is the best large state for local businesses.

• South Dakota is the best small state for local businesses.

• Pittsburgh is the best metropolitan area for local businesses.

Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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