We all knew this was not going to be easy.
But I do not think we understood that it wasn’t going to be over quickly.
Our community is known to rally when faced with adversity. Most of our community adversity over the past couple of decades has been the result of natural disasters. With those, there is a defining event, catastrophic loss and damage that is followed by hard work and elbow grease to get us back on our feet. We don’t blame people for what has happened in natural disasters. We didn’t politicize tornados or ice storms. We showed our best selves.
With this pandemic, we have seen countless stories of the selflessness of first responders, health care workers, front line employees — the people who are protecting us, making sure we are fed, and nursing our sick back to health. Daily we see businesses and organizations that are working around the clock to adapt to new regulations and many who are innovating with new product delivery to continue growth.
But we are five months in. And we are tired. We crave normalcy.
In an effort to raise awareness of the economic impact of shopping local and to support our Chamber members, the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Independence Bank launched Shop Owensboro — a community-wide initiative to encourage shoppers to visit local businesses. We celebrate our traditional Shop Owensboro Day the Saturday following Thanksgiving — a day known nationally as Small Business Saturday.
This year, with the impact that COVID-19 shutdowns have had on our local businesses, we are launching a summer edition. Shop Owensboro will be next Saturday, July 25, at restaurants, boutiques and retailers around the community. You can Shop Owensboro in person, on the phone or online depending on the business.
It gives us an opportunity to support our neighbors and keep local money local. It is good for the economy and good for the soul. And it can be a way to have a little bit of the normal back. We want to ensure that once we are through this, we have done everything possible to ensure that these local businesses are still part of our community.
These retailers and restaurants contribute to the economy and the community in a myriad of ways. In fact, studies show 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 economic multiplier is for every dollar spent, three more are generated.
The impact is significant. It is necessary.
We hope you’ll join us in shopping local — next Saturday and every day. Watch for details on participating Shop Owensboro businesses and ways to get involved on social media! Find us @GOChamber on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Be sure to document your Shop Owensboro experience on social media by using the hashtags: #SHOPOWENSBORO #GOCHAMBER #1776REVOLUTION #SHOPSMALL #SUPPORTLOCAL #WELOVELOCAL