Have a local Christmas

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Local chamber advocates in-county shopping

When shopping for those just-right Christmas gifts, consider keeping your dollars in Beaufort County.

That’s a message the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce pushes year-round.

“It’s all part of a local push to remind people of the stores that are available here and the products and services and anything that they can keep local,” said Catherine Glover, executive director of the chamber.

The chamber is promoting Small Business Saturday, a national, day-after-Black Friday event encouraging people to buy from small businesses.

But the chamber continues its all-year-long Buy Local initiative asking people to purchase gift certificates at the chamber for use at 45 participating Beaufort County shops and restaurants.

Buy Local has generated more than $40,000 in gift-certificate sales over the past few years, Glover related.

Small business owners “are our neighbors, they’re our friends, they give straight back to the community and I think it’s just important that we support them,” she said.

The chamber also asks its members to take part in Business After Hours, an ongoing series of open houses during which specific stores keep their doors open to the public beyond the 8 a.m.-5 p.m. working day.

The chamber’s hometown mantra is one that resonates with Billy Jefferson, owner of a downtown-Washington furniture store.

“We’ve got the biggest inventory we’ve ever had,” Jefferson said, adding all that’s missing are the weekend holiday shoppers whose arrival he anticipates.

More information on shopping locally is available on the chamber’s website, www.wbcchamber.com or by calling the organization’s office at 252-946-9168.