If you are like us and have family history in Owensboro, we are sure you have heard parents or grandparents reminisce about the days of Anderson’s, McAtee’s, J.J. Newberry’s and many other community business institutions that provided a local, personalized approach for shopping.
Luckily, Owensboro has seen a renaissance of local offerings emerge and thrive in recent years. These small businesses contribute to the economy and the community in a myriad of ways. In fact, studies have shown that on average, each $100 spent at a local business generates $45 of secondary spending (payroll, profits spent locally by owners, donations to area charities, etc.). The impact is significant, and Owensboroans will have an opportunity to support these local businesses on November 25th.
The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Independence Bank have partnered once again for Shop Owensboro — a community-wide initiative to encourage holiday shoppers to visit local businesses the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday — a day known nationally as Small Business Saturday. This program has grown exponentially in recent years and is now a holiday tradition in Owensboro. Shop Owensboro allows us to support our neighbors and keep local money local. It is good for the economy, and good for the soul. And, it presents a teaching opportunity for our young people.
We are community that understands the need to be innovative in everything we do—we have a storied history of entrepreneurship and small business leadership, and the time is now to pass that tradition on to the next generation. With this ethic in mind, the, Junior Achievement, the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, the Kentucky Innovation Network Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce are partnering to present the 4th Annual Hot Chocolate Challenge on Shop Owensboro Day.
As shoppers make their way around Owensboro on the 25th, they will see students from local elementary schools (cups in tow) selling hot chocolate to shop-goers. The day’s activities incorporate project-based learning—flavor offerings, price points, and marketing plans have all been developed by the students themselves, and profits earned by the teams will be donated back to their school’s community resource center. Most importantly, these young people are learning the value of small business ownership—hard work, risk and personal responsibility, and the soft skills that will serve them well as they continue their education and life.
It is our hope that these students will develop a passion for entrepreneurship, which will help in creating a culture in Owensboro that will enable us to grow our economy from within. If you are out and about on Nov. 25, we encourage you to Shop Owensboro and support our next generation of emerging leaders.
Be sure to visit Independence Bank on Frederica Street of Highway 54 at 9 a.m.to pick up Shop Owensboro materials and document your Small Business Saturday on social media by using the hashtags: #ShopOwensboro #GOChamber #1776Revolution #ShopSmall #SupportLocal #PutYourMoneyWhereYourHeartIs
By Joe Berry, Executive Vice-President of GOEDC and Director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Owensboro Office and Candance Castlen Brake