MSP and Area Chamber work to promote shopping small

By Ivy Potter - [email protected]

While Main Street Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce have already organized several successful events promoting local business this holiday season, both entities stress the importance of remembering to shop small when buying gifts for friends and loved ones.

The Falalala Local Holiday Expo was held on November 7 and welcomed over 300 guests and 40 vendors. The expo featured cottage industry and brick and mortar businesses, highlighting locally produced items from a traditional small business with a physical location. According to Main Street and the area chamber of commerce the event was a huge success for a first-year event and the organizations are looking at ways to further it and grow it into a Portsmouth tradition in coming years.

Two additional events, the Holiday Open House and Small Business Saturday took place on Nov. 17 and Nov. 24. While the open house encouraged guests to partake in downtown businesses seasonal treats and great specials, Small Business Saturday welcomed hundreds of shoppers for the biggest day of sales for area small businesses. Both Main Street and the chamber teamed up to market the event and inspire local shoppers to shop small, visiting over 100 small businesses, local offices and influential community members to build up the event.

According to Main Street Portsmouth Executive Director Joseph Pratt, Small Business Saturday provides an opportunity for area businesses to make a high volume of sales which propels them through the rest of the holiday season.

“Shopping local is something the chamber promotes year round, and supporting those small businesses is a part of our mission,” said Lisa Carver, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. “At the holidays when people are shopping significantly more than usual the shop small campaign is promoted nationally, and we saw this as an opportunity to partner with Main Street and push the campaign locally.”

Carver says that while Main Street focuses on promoting the downtown Portsmouth Area, the chamber encompasses the entire county with approximately 470 members total with many of those classified as small businesses. “We wanted to make sure all of our area businesses in the county were included in the promotion of Small Business Saturday,” Carver said.

Main Street Portsmouth stated that things are looking up for the Boneyfiddle Area, and lists supporting small businesses that operate in the area as the best way to promote that growth.

“When it comes to buildings being occupied, we are at full capacity, something we haven’t had in quite some time. There is still growth that needs to happen on Chillicothe Street and Gallia Street, but Second Street and Market Street and the streets surrounding Boneyfiddle, if the building is completely renovated and able to hold a business, a business is occupying that space. Not only that, but there is a long waiting list of businesses wanting to come in,” said Pratt. “The importance of shopping locally is that these people depend on our dollars to survive. That’s where their business comes from. Amazon, they get more than enough from a global economy. If we aren’t shopping in our local community than no one else is going to. It’s very important if we want to sustain our businesses, if we want to continue their growth in our area, and just be able to exist we have to show them we care by shopping with them. These are local families, neighbors, friends and they need us to succeed.”

Pratt says the dedication of business owners and investors have helped to bring the downtown back to life.

Both Main Street and the chamber listed dozens of small businesses which offer unique gifts for the holiday season from Patter Fam Sauces, to The Happy Pot, to Posh Boutique, and many more.

While Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce operate as separate entities, both know the importance of shopping locally and strive to improve business for area establishments on their own and in unison. In recent years the two organizations have begun working even more closely than in previous years, teaming up on several annual events and hoping to use their partnership for the betterment of the community in the coming years.

By Ivy Potter

[email protected]

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932