Chesapeake Bank and the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce will partner with local businesses in Gloucester and Mathews once again to co-sponsor Shop Local Day on Saturday. The event will give local businesses an opportunity to showcase the goods and services they provide to their neighbors, said Chesapeake’s marketing director Paula Milsted, while shoppers get a chance to take advantage of many bargains and special offers available on that day.
As of last week, 70 businesses in Gloucester had signed up to participate, along with almost 40 Mathews businesses, Milsted said.
"That is awesome," said Makalia Records, executive director of the Gloucester Chamber, noting that a similar promotion last spring saw 62 Gloucester businesses participate.
Milsted said that Chesapeake Bank is a community bank—not part of a large regional or national bank. Because of that, she said, Chesapeake officials count on local businesses a great deal, and want residents to support them as well.
The promotion can serve to help the local economy, Records said, which is still recovering from the economic downturn of recent years.
Shop Local Day is a way to acquaint residents with specialty stores and other businesses in the area that they might not have visited before. The promotion is "an awesome opportunity" for businesses to keep dollars local, Records said, and businesses may offer product discounts, small gifts and other incentives to stop by on Saturday.
Milsted said that Chesapeake Bank will partner with other organizations to run similar Shop Local promotions Saturday throughout its service area of the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Williamsburg.
In all, about 260 businesses had signed up by last Thursday, Milsted said, and she hopes that a total of 300 businesses throughout the region will sign up by Friday’s deadline.
This is the third Shop Local Day event, Milsted said, with the first held last fall and the second this spring. The promotion, she said, "seems to generate a festive spirit in the communities."
Chesapeake Bank will once again give away special shopping bags, which can be picked up at any Chesapeake office, the Gloucester chamber office at Hayes and participating businesses.
Businesses participating in the event will display a special decal, "The Buck Stays Here," to let shoppers know they are taking part in the promotion.
Milsted said Chesapeake Bank is offering online features for merchants and shoppers in conjunction with the special day. Merchants can sign up online at blog.chesbank.com under the "For Merchants" tab. Merchants can sign up and post their offers through Friday.
Shoppers who want to make best use of their shopping time this Saturday can access the blog and click on the "For Shoppers" tab, Milsted said, where they can preview merchant offers and create a personal shopping itinerary.
For more information, call Milsted at 804-435-4248 or Records at 693-2425.