The Chamber staff is a very optimistic group. We had high hopes for our Shop Owensboro on Small Business Saturday.
We had ordered double the bags from last year and we felt like we had promoted the event well. Participating retailers had doubled since last year (close to 50). So there was reason to believe that our pop-up Chambers at Independence Bank locations would be busy — but we never expected the lines. Before the doors opened to hand out our bags full of coupons and deals, there was a line that wrapped around the Independence Bank parking lot. There were lines at nearly every retailer.
These are the kind of days that fill hearts with community pride. We heard comments from many out of towners who came for the second year in a row raving about Owensboro’s high number of unique independent retailers and the quality of their experience.
Shoppers turning out to support their Owensboro retailers and our members’ faces as they look through crowded shops and businesses provided the perfect ending to a Thanksgiving weekend and a great kick-off to our local Christmas shopping season.
That is what we want that day to be — a kick-off instead of a one-day event. We want those businesses that were full last week to see those customers return. We want the customers to feel appreciated and to understand the importance of investing their dollars in their neighbors. The money those retailers earn is turned back around and spent here and so on. A cycle is created that grows our regional economy and in some way, will benefit each of us. It really is a powerful act.
Over the next few weeks, many of us will be tempted to go out of town to shop or make a few clicks online to save time. But most of time, we spend more money getting out of town. And sitting at a computer and ordering (and reordering after the order does not go through several times) can be time consuming and frustrating. And in both cases, your money has gone straight of town and never returns.
Chances are, most everything we need is right here at home. As the saying goes “keep your money where your heart is.” Shop Owensboro.
By Candance Brake President and CEO Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce