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Bemidji Area Chamber News

The mission of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce:
To serve our members and advocate for our business community.
A Proud Member of the Bemidji Alliance Family.

How Your Bemidji Small Business Can Benefit From a Holiday ''Shop Local'' Campaign

As a small business owner, you may be wondering how you can compete with the big box stores during the holiday season. While it's true that they have deep pockets and can advertise on a much larger scale than you can, there are ways to level the playing field. One effective way is to launch a holiday "shop local" campaign. Here's how it works and how your small business can benefit.


When customers shop at local businesses, not only do they get the items they need or want, but they also help to strengthen the local economy. That's because when people spend their money locally, that money gets recirculated back into the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenses. This has a ripple effect that benefits everyone in the community.


In addition, shoppers who frequent local businesses tend to form personal relationships with the owners and employees. They know that their patronage is appreciated and they are more likely to continue shopping there in the future. So how can your small business get involved in a holiday shop local campaign? Here are some ideas from the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce to get you started.


Launch Your Own Campaign


You don't have to wait for someone else to lead the charge. You can launch your own holiday shop local campaign and promote it through your website, social media channels, email list, and even traditional print advertising. Be sure to use eye-catching visuals and language that will make potential customers want to participate.


Promote Existing Campaigns


As the holiday season approaches, many businesses ramp up their promotional efforts to attract customers. However, promoting a holiday shop local campaign can be a great way to not only support your community but also to stand out from the competition. There are a number of ways to promote a holiday shop local campaign. One option is to offer discounts or specials for customers who shop at locally-owned businesses, as well as contests and giveaways. You could even consider launching a special loyalty program.


Additionally, you can use social media and other marketing channels to spread the word about the campaign. By promoting a holiday shop local campaign, you can show your customers that you're invested in your community. And that can go a long way towards building loyalty and attracting new business.


Co-host Events with Other Local Businesses


Get together with other small businesses in your area and co-host an event promoting the importance of shopping locally during the holidays. This could be something as simple as a press conference or even just a group social media post featuring all of the participating businesses.  Use this as an opportunity to cross-promote each other's products or services and really drive home the message that when shoppers buy local, everyone wins! 


If you aren’t sure where to start, try making a PDF gift guide filled with product images and promotional info, and invite other collaborating businesses to contribute, as well. From there, each business can make it downloadable through their website and send it out to their email lists. And if you want to take your promotions to the next level, trying using this free tool to divide your gift guide into multiple PDFs, then share them with various social media groups for some extra targeted marketing. That’ll help spread the word about the campaign and benefit all the businesses involved, not to mention those deal-seeking customers!


Give Back


There's no better time than the holidays to give back to those less fortunate in your community. As part of your holiday shop local campaign, pledge to donate a portion of proceeds from sales made during a specific period of time to a local charity or food bank. Customers will appreciate knowing that their purchase is helping to make someone's holiday season a little bit brighter! 


By following these tips, you can run a successful holiday shop local campaign that will not only bring new customers through your doors but also help to strengthen the overall economy in your community. What are you waiting for? It's time to start planning!

Grow your business by building relationships with other local entrepreneurs and accessing unique resources offered by the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce. Join us today!

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