Programs encourage residents to shop local, support small businesses

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by Sarah Thomack

St. Joseph Post

Several shopping programs this weekend and throughout the holiday shopping season encourage area residents to shop local and support small businesses.

In Maryville, shoppers have a chance to win prizes every week for shopping local. Shop Merryville is underway and customers receive a ticket for every $20 they spend at a participating business and those tickets go into drawings each week with the Shop Merryville’s Grand Prize drawing held on December 23rd. 

In St. Joseph, Shop St. Joseph is underway with over a hundred businesses large and small participating.

“Of course we would like everyone to remember to Shop St. Joseph when you’re doing your holiday shopping,” says Kristi Bailey, St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce Director of Communications & Marketing. “So when you’re making your (Black Friday) plan, make sure to visit the Shop St. Joe participants and get a chance to win $10,000 while you’re doing your holiday shopping.”

Shop St. Joseph runs until December 16th. For a full list of participants and more on how the program works, click here.

In Atchison, Chamber of Commerce President Jacque Pregont says businesses do what they call Reverse Black Friday.

“We understand that being in a small town, that a lot of our people are going to get up and they’re going to go to the city, either St. Joe or Kansas City and try to get those fantastic buys at some of the big box stores,” Pregont says. “So our stores downtown have started doing what they call ‘Reverse Black Friday,’  so by the time you’re back from shopping, maybe you’ve had your nap, they’ll all have specials from 3 to 6 Friday afternoon.”

Pregont adds that days like Small Business Saturday, which includes their Christmas Stroll shopping program are important in places like Atchison.

“There’s a lot of talk, especially around Small Business Saturday, about how important it is and that those small businesses in town are the ones that support your kid’s baseball team and they’re the ones giving prizes for after prom and they’re supporting your family in so many ways,” Pregont says. “And this is just a really good way to pay them back for that… and give back to small independent business owners.”