Local officials remind shoppers to keep small business in mind this Black Friday

Shift the Spend campaign
Shift the Spend campaign(WDBJ)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 5:15 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As local businesses still work to recover from the COVID 19 pandemic, shoppers are being reminded of the importance of shopping small.

“Not only does it put cash in the pockets of locally owned business owners, but it also helps them create jobs,” explains Beth Simms, Franklin County Economic Development Director. “Sometimes small businesses don’t look at themselves as job creators, and we’re really trying to change that. We have over 1,500 businesses in Franklin County, imagine if every business could hire one person, the economic impact that would have on our community.”

Officials also say that spending small allows for the opportunity to maybe even spend more.

“But supporting small and supporting local more, it speaks volumes to allowing the economic development to grow,” says Eric Sichau with the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. “More small businesses that come about is more areas in downtown that have small businesses in their storefronts. That type of momentum and that type of support helps bring businesses here because they see this region, this area, supports small, we need to be in that community because we know that community and that region is going to support us.”

Reminding shoppers to keep local businesses in mind while making that holiday list.

“What we’re really doing is just asking people to look at local first,” says Simms. “We know that you can’t buy everything on your holiday shopping list per se in Franklin County, but at least to go to these locally owned businesses and look at them first.”

“There’s a lot going on Downtown here in the region and within our other partners in the region,” adds Sichau. “Botetourt, Franklin County, City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, City of Salem, Montgomery County, you name it. If there’s a way for you to shop small and incorporate your visits to the area here over the next 30 to 45 days, we encourage it.”

Franklin county is holding a “shift the spend campaign where they are asking shoppers to commit to spending 20% of their holiday shopping budget in local businesses, and the City of Roanoke is participating in their 12th Small business Saturday this weekend.

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