With both the holiday shopping season, and the national Small Business Saturday (November 30, 2013), right around the corner, the Southampton Business Alliance (SBA), local Chambers of Commerce, and the Hamptons Visitors Council are urging East End residents to “Think Local.”
“From Southampton’s Country Holiday schedule to Westhampton’s WinterFest, with tree lightings, Santa’s visits and retailing events in East Quogue, Sag Harbor and Hamptons Bays, local residents should check their Chamber of Commerce calendars and see the terrific opportunities for entertainment and shopping right in their own backyards,” said Southampton Chamber President and Visitors Council Co-Chair Micah Schlendorf.
Another incentive to shop local is Southampton Chamber of Commerce’s new program, “Shop Hop,” which benefits Hamptons charities and non-profits. Participating businesses will stay open later on the first Friday of every month, and donate a portion of their proceeds to an organization selected by the Chamber. The first “Shop Hop” will take place on Friday, December 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“Thinking Local” has many benefits to the South Fork. “Patronizing independent, locally owned businesses including retailers, professional and home service providers, farmers, etc. has been proven to greatly strengthen the overall economic base of a community,” stated Business Alliance Executive Director Sheryl Heather. “We tend to think of sustainability in terms of environmental impact only, but our local businesses are a key component of the Town’s sustainable future in terms of creating local jobs, contributing to the local tax base, supporting our local charities and so much more.”
Outgoing Hampton Bays Chamber President Stan Glinka, and incoming member of the Town Board noted the importance of supporting local retailers during off-season. “Everyone laments the loss of shops on our Main Streets, but they don’t seem to equate this to their own spending habits,” said Glinka. “Online retailers may seem like a convenient alternative, but they’re not creating any local jobs or sponsoring a local Little League team.”