Saturday marks annual Buy Local Day

Published 6:38 pm Friday, November 25, 2016

Beaufort County residents are asked to come out and support their own on Saturday, as part of the annual Buy Local Day.

Sponsored by First South Bank, the initiative is meant to encourage shoppers to make purchases close to home this weekend, but also all year, according to Catherine Glover, executive director at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.

Glover said organizers revamped Buy Local Day this year to make it more than just a seasonal push for sales. Customers will still have their items placed in “Buy Local” bags, and while there is no across-the-board discount this year, some retailers may employ discounts on their own.

“We tried to approach it as a … not just a one day thing … but as a thing for the whole season,” Glover said. “It was more to remind people not to just come in that one day, but to continuously come in and support.”

Harold Robinson, executive director of the Washington Harbor District Alliance, said he thinks Beaufort County residents owe it to their neighbors to shop locally first.

“Who do we turn to when we need help?” Robinson said. “We turn to our local friends. … We need to support them.”

He said he doesn’t have anything against the big stores, but it’s important for shoppers to give local stores the first try.

“We’re all excited, but they have gone through Hurricane Matthew. A lot of them were closed for three or four days,” Robinson said. “We’ve got to help them.”

Robinson said that although he is now working for the WHDA, he feels a special responsibility to the downtown Washington retailers because they are friends.

Glover said she also thinks shopping locally is important to the retailers.

“We are Washington. Together, we’re Washington. We can’t be Washington if we’re divided,” Robinson said. “We owe it to our local retail stores, our restaurants and our local business people.”