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Small Business Saturday: Thinking small helps your neighbors win big

11/18/2023

Clarksburg, W.Va. – Local economic officials and business owners are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, held Nov. 25 this year.

Officials are finding creative ways to help residents consider supporting local small businesses.

“West Virginia is largely made up of small businesses, and they are the heartbeat of our community and the engine force behind our economy,” said Kaylin Jorge, director of communications for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“I think overall, Small Business Saturday is a very big day for our small mom and pops,” said Tina Shaw, president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s really a day that the business community promotes everyone to shop small and stay in their community for their holiday shopping.”

To encourage residents to get involved on Small Business Saturday, the Marion Chamber of Commerce is doing a Shop Small, Win Big campaign on social media.

Participating businesses have a chance to win a free chamber membership, Shaw said.

“If their customers make a purchase and take a picture holding a special sign we provide all of them with, and they upload it to social media, the business that gets the most shares wins a free Chamber membership and the shopper who visits the most businesses holding that sign will also win a great prize package of gift certificates from Marion County businesses,” Shaw said.

The Lewis County Chamber is launching a gift that can only be spent at small businesses, said Lewis County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chris Bailey.

“We are launching a small business community gift card that can only be spent at small businesess that are also a member of the Lewis County Chamber,” Bailey said.

These gift cards allow residents to buy from local businesses, restaurants, stores and bakeries in Lewis County.

“These are your neighbors that you’re shopping from. These neighbors will then end up spending money back into the local economy,” Bailey said. “So many of the small businesses we have here are locally owned, and this is a chance for the to compete with some of the larger companies we tend to go to.”

Dan Swiger, owner of Loop Creative in Fairmont, started his small business six years ago making handmade pottery items.

On Small Business Saturday, Swiger will sell his pottery at the Shop Til You Drop event at the Mylan Park Expo Center.

Events like these “are key for us to be able to get out there and show West Virginia handmade products and show the people what they can buy by shopping local and shopping small,” Swiger said.

“Small businesses are key to revitalizing historic districts such as the Downtown Fairmont District. I think small businesses are a way that we can help to rebuild and maintain a sense of community and the historic districts of our downtowns that might go neglected if it were not for small businesses.”

At the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Jorge said they take special note of small businesses in the state and support them by featuring their work in newsletters and magazines.

Each year, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce initiates campaigns to help small businesses, including offering customized graphics that can be used electronically and on social media.

They also have an online business academy that provides members educational webinars.

“It gives people the chance to connect with our community by experiencing a new small business for the first time,” Jorge said. “not only a chance to give back to those small businesses, but a chance to give the gift of something local.”

 

Story by Daisy Gibbons, WV News

 

 

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