Chamber encourages customers to shop local

Talia Milavetz
Created: October 07, 2019 07:32 PM

Though it’s difficult to believe, holiday shopping is right around the corner. The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is urging people to shop at local businesses first this year.

Linda Smith has been a local business owner for 16 years. She recently moved her shop Optical Vision with Flair to Peace Plaza. 


"I have very unique eyewear. Stuff that a lot of other people don't have. I figure if you have to wear glasses you should wear something that nobody else has,” she said. 

Over the years the retail competition has changed. 

“Online is the biggest thing that really has changed for everybody,” she said. “It’s definitely taken some sales away from me, but my true customers still come back because they like the different things I have.”

That’s one reason the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraging shoppers to buy locally.  

"Almost 30 percent of sales happen during the holiday season so we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to remind our friends and neighbors that shopping local helps the entire community,” said President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Kathleen Harrington.

Chamber members were out Monday giving businesses tools to bring locals in. 

"We're out handing out posters and letting businesses know it's good to get your customers to think local,” said Rochester Ambassador Stephen Rose.

President of Lasker Jewelers Nicole Lasker said it’s an initiative that pays off for everyone. 

"I think a lot of people don't realize that not only are you spending your money in the community, but your tax dollars  are staying in the community, which goes right to the school districts and the roads",” she said.

And Smith said the customers get something back too. 

"They get better service, they know who they're dealing with and if they have a problem they can come back and I'll make it right for them,” she said. 

On October 10, ABC 6 News is co-sponsoring a workshop with the chamber for local businesses. 

The workshop will be from 7:30 - 9 a.m. at Saint Mary's University Cascade Meadows focusing on maximizing customer experience to increase volume of sales and customer loyalty. The event is free. To register or find out more click here.

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