An initiative started by American Express seven years ago continues to make an impact on Sampson County small businesses.
The Clinton Main Street Program, in partnership with Sampson Community College’s Small Business Center, the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, the Western Sampson Commerce Group and Sampson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is working to promote patrons shopping locally and building the local economy.
Small Business Saturday, to be held Nov. 25, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, started as an effort to bring attention to the importance of shopping small and supporting neighborhood businesses.
Since its inception, many businesses and organizations have joined in efforts to foster a community event that is easy to participate in for community members and businesses alike.
“Building on the Clinton Main Street Program theme of ‘partnerships make things happen’, we are extremely proud to be working with our other Sampson County partners and businesses to exhibit to our citizens how shopping local can make a huge difference in Sampson County,” Mary Rose, Clinton-Sampson Planning Director and Main Street Program manager, said. “Last year’s passport event measured $2,600 spent locally, and we hope that number significantly increases this year an in years to come.”
Since inception of the program, many businesses and organizations such as the one in Sampson County have joined in efforts to foster a community event that is easy to participate in for community members and businesses alike.
“Everybody is familiar with big stories and Black Friday,” Roland Hall, president of the Western Commerce Group, said. “There is never much emphasis on the small businesses who are the livelihood of our local economy.”
On Small Business Saturday, patrons are asked to visit local participating retailers and take part in the Sampson Passport Program. Passports can be picked up at Simply NC, Matthews Cards and Gifts, Railroad Street Steakhouse, Clark & Company and Newton Grove Drug Co. Once picked up, customers are challenged with the opportunity to make at least three purchases from small businesses anywhere in Sampson County. Customers should then enclose their receipts from the day’s purchases, complete the contact information and drop it off at one of the designated locations.
“Small businesses work hard to provide those products and services needed by customers in their communities,” Hall shared. “Shopping at small businesses sustains and helps grow our communities. Successful small business operations are valued assets that are essential to vibrant communities. Customers are often pleased to learn they can purchase what they need locally, at competitive prices, without having to leave Sampson County.”
Customers who choose to participate will have a chance to win a $300 cash prize.
Small businesses play an important role in the local economy. Approximately 55 percent of jobs are provided by a small business.
“Our hope is that the citizens of Sampson County come out to support and boost our local economy by shopping small and keeping their loyalty local,” Bart Rice, Small Business Center director, said.
Shopping locally on Small Business Saturday can play a vital role in making the economy stronger.
“By participating in our Shop Small Saturday, each individual shopper is showing their pride in their local community and the businesses there,” Deborah Thompson, owner of Simply NC, said. “With your support, we as small businesses will be able to stay in business, provide jobs and reinvest in the community. With such great businesses in Sampson County, shopping small is good for everyone.”
For more information, contact Rose at 910-299-4904 or Rice at 910-592-8081.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.