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Campaign urging consumers to shop locally this weekend

Posted November 25, 2011
Updated November 26, 2011

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— Thanksgiving-weekend shopping doesn't have to mean crowded malls and big-box stores. Independent merchants want shoppers to know they have great deals, too.

They’re hoping to get that message out with a new campaign called "Small Business Saturday," reminding holiday shoppers to think outside the box store – and keep their dollars in the community.

At Cameron Village Friday, Elizabeth Warner was one of many shoppers taking advantage of beautiful weather to browse the sales at independent stores. She said small local shops are more convenient, and many have better selection and service than chain stores.

"You may spend a lot of time in the mall going to places you don't need and end up spending more in the long run, anyway," Warner said.

Small businesses emphasize customer service to differentiate from chain stores. Local merchants tout customer service

Warner was shopping at the Great Outdoor Provision Company. Assistant Manager David Falkowski said customer service helps his store compete with national and online retailers.

"We have customers who've been shopping with us 40 years now," Falkowski said. "They know our product, they know our service record. They come here because they like what we do, they like buying from us – they feel good about buying local."

Lisa Vinson is the owner of Scout and Molly’s, an independent boutique at Cameron Village. The last few years haven't been easy for small retailers, she said, but sales this year have been good.

Vinson said most small retailers she knows "got into it not to make money, but just to do something that they love every day."

"The reason that we do it is because we're passionate about it, because we love the customers and the interaction with the people," Vinson said.

Loyal customers, like Susan Dworsky, feel the same way.

"I like to support local business," Dworsky said. "I know Lisa is a great businesswoman in the community, and she does a lot of charity work for (multiple sclerosis) and animal rescue, and I just like to support those endeavors."

Plus, Dworsky added with a smile, "She's got great stuff!"

For more information about Small Business Saturday, visit the campaign’s Facebook page, which includes lists of local retailers in the area.


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