Area agencies unite for shop local effort

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Monday kicks off a week-long “Shop Small Business Week” in the region that is moving through phased re-openings after lengthy coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.

In a partnership between Oneida County, Mohawk Valley EDGE, the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley and Oneida County Tourism will designate the week of June 29 as “Shop Small Business Week.” 

According to information, over 50% of Oneida County businesses — a large number of them were small businesses — were completely closed. Further, 60% of those businesses that were shutdown reported revenue losses of at least 80%.

“With many larger stores deemed essential by the state and able to fill online orders, it is our small businesses that have been most impacted by the current pandemic,” reads a release from the Rome Chamber of Commerce. “The Small Business Administration’s ‘National Small Business Week’ usually held in the first week of May was postponed this year because of the pandemic.”

Each day all of the event partners will be promoting small businesses and daily themes that will include:

Main Street Monday which will focus on small town storefronts;

Grati-Tuesday will promote personal service providers and restaurants that have been closed for months;

Wellness Wednesday will showcase area self-care services such as health and fitness studios, healthy eating and more;

Thirsty Thursday will promote the local beverage industry such as coffee and beer spots;

Burger and Fry-day will highlight local farmers markets and food producers; and

Small Business Saturday will again highlight goods and services offered at local businesses.

“Locally owned shops contribute to the unique character of our destination. Not only do they help create a charming and memorable experience, the jobs they provide sustain households and livelihoods. Shopping small makes a big impact. Visitor spending on retail shopping along with food and beverage tops $684 million annually in Oneida County. We encourage everyone to participate in Oneida County Shop Small Business Week, June 29 through July 4 - this week and every week,” said Kelly Blazosky, President of Oneida County Tourism in a release.

Shoppers are encouraged to post their Shop Small purchases on social media using the hashtag #LoyaltoLocal315 for a chance to win local prizes each day provided by a list of businesses including: Almost Local, Liberty Car Wash, Universal Wellness, Saranac Brewery, Copper City Brewery, Edible Arrangements, Bonomo’s, Enchanted Forest Water Safari and Atrophy Escape Room by Cayo Industrial Horror Realm. 

Local event details can be found on https://www.loyaltolocal315.com/.

“Please join our regional effort to keep jobs LOCAL and you will be helping to grow our community’s property tax base. Local sales tax dollars help the county to meet its financial obligations without raising property taxes. The purchases you make assist in efforts to keep our region a safe place to live, work, and raise a family…,” said Adam Hovak, chairman of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce in a release.

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