Campaign keeps money at home and boosts downtown
Huntsville’s “Shop Small – Shop Local” event has been so popular Main Street Coordinator Debbie Charbonneau started early this year, selling the first tickets back on Oct. 1.
Charbonneau said the 2017 campaign, which ran Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, was such a hit that she and the downtown businesses agreed that starting sooner would attract more shoppers to the area.
The American Express Shop Small Saturday (annually held nationwide the Saturday after Thanksgiving) will be Nov. 24. Charbonneau said Huntsville’s event has grown into a success for downtown shops, inspiring her to promote and expand the campaign with more shopping time in 2018.
“I am a neighborhood champion for Huntsville,” Charbonneau said. “We don’t just participate in Shop Small Saturday, we enjoy this celebration for two full months.”
For every $20 spent in a downtown participating business, shoppers receive one ticket to be entered in a drawing to win $1,000 in gift cards. The drawing will be on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Huntsville Christmas Fair.
The participating businesses include Bluebonnet Antique Mall, A Nitsch in Time, The Patio, Blessed Ink, Fabric Carousel, Bonnie Lu’s Pink Lady Antiques, The Buttercup Cottage, Sam Houston Antique Mall/Tickled Pink, Buckner’s Jewelry, Inc., McAdams Dry Goods Company, Cloud 9 Health & Energy, Diamonds & Rust Boutique, and Twisted Moon Graphics.
“Last year we ran the campaign for the month of November and sold 2,238 tickets, which was an economic impact of $44,760 in one month in our downtown,” Charbonneau said. “I encourage everyone to ‘shop small’ and shop locally as much as possible.”
Charbonneau said business owners are neighbors in the community, so when residents frequent a local business, it’s the economic equivalent of a neighbor helping a neighbor.
“The benefits don’t stop there,” Charbonneau said. “When our small businesses are successful, everybody wins. Our entire city enjoys greater economic stability. It’s been estimated that over 50 percent of every dollar spent at a small business goes directly back into that market. Shopping small means helping your neighbor and supporting our very own.”
As of Nov. 13, she said 4,400 tickets have been sold.
For more information about the campaign, call 936-291-5920 or email MainStreet01@HuntsvilleTX.gov.
(The City of Huntsville’s Main Street Office was designated as a Texas Main Street community in 2001. The office works to promote the local economy and downtown businesses of Huntsville.)