Shop Owensboro to last a week this year

The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s annual Shop Owensboro campaign — the local version of the national Small Business Saturday — has been extended to a week-long event this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Candance Castlen Brake, chamber president, said the event, which has been a partnership with Independence Bank since 2015, “is one of our most important events because it reminds everyone in the community how important it is to support our local merchants, restaurants and gathering spots. These are our neighbors who invest in the community, pay taxes and work tirelessly to keep our local economy thriving.”

Shop Owensboro will kick off on Nov. 28 — the Saturday after Thanksgiving — as it usually does.

But instead of standing in line at the bank for the promotional shopping bags, shoppers will start at the Owensboro Convention Center, where they can drive through and pick up one of 500 bags that include promotional items, a shopping map and a bingo card.

Some will also find a gift card in their bag.

Brake said, “We expect our record number of merchants from last year to return this year.”

She said, “The week-long Shop Owensboro will give our shoppers time to enjoy the special discounts that would normally be for one day. That way, we are able to encourage more manageable numbers of customers in order to keep people safe.”

Brake said, “As with everything this year, we are all adapting to make sure all of our small businesses come out on the other side.”

Many businesses will offer online ordering, curbside pick-up and other alternative shopping or dining methods to serve more customers safely, the chamber said in a news release.

Shoppers will earn a stamp for each purchase at a participating business on their bingo card.

Those making online purchases from participating businesses can show proof of purchase, the chamber said.

Shoppers can return their bingo cards to the chamber by Dec. 11 to be entered in a drawing for two grand prizes.

The deadline for businesses to sign up for the promotion is Wednesday.

By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer