EDITOR’S NOTE: South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer serves on the Board of Directors for the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce.

Shop Small, Win Big!

By Andrea H. Reay

Now, more than ever, we need to support our local businesses. Many are still struggling with the impacts of the pandemic and are hoping for strong end to the final quarter of this year to stay in business. The Seattle Southside Chamber has always been proud to be a Neighborhood Champion with American Express for Shop Small Saturday. However, this year, we’re extending our support well past Saturday the 27th to encourage a Shop Small Season.

We announced the return of our $500 shop local incentive to encourage local customers to shop, dine and buy local. The shop local contest is part of Shop Small Saturday, a nationwide campaign to encourage support of local businesses.

Every time you shop, buy, or dine local from November 27th through December 19th, keep your receipt or proof of purchase and enter the details in an online form HERE to be entered to win $500 cash. Each and every purchase is an additional chance to win!

This contest includes all types of purchases, including purchases in-store, to-go, and online. Additional chances to win will be added if the purchase was made at a Chamber Member location. One purchase has the potential to add up to 3 chances to win!

However, if you need more reasons, other than the chance to win $500, to shop local here are a few of our favorites:

You’re supporting your neighbors.
When you support Small Business Season and shop local, you are supporting your neighbors and they are more likely, in turn, to keep the money you spent with them local as well (for every $100 spent locally, $68 of it stays local).

You can get in-person advice.
Not sure of the right size, color, or other option? Maybe you want to buy something but don’t know what else you need to make that purchase complete (like buying a fishing rod without any hooks or lures). An in-person shopping experience can help you straighten out the choices. Small business owners offer complete information and suggestions, and you can ask questions about those suggestions.

Local yields easier returns.
Even though you have a clear understanding of what you’re buying when you buy in person, sometimes you need to return your purchase. When you do, it’s easier to do it locally than to send something back to a store located elsewhere. Between paying for shipping to going to the post office and insuring it, bringing it back to a local business is generally easier than online returns.

Satisfaction guaranteed.
If you’re not satisfied with what you purchased, but it’s not something you can bring back (like a service or a food item), you know how to get in touch with the local provider. Some non-local sellers make it impossible to speak to a human. Talking to the local business owner is much easier and they may be able to suggest something that is more along the lines of what you’re looking for.

It brings on the holiday spirit.
When you are out among the sounds and smells of the holiday, it brightens your mood. Who doesn’t love sparkling lights, glitter, snow, and all the happy tunes of the season? It’s hard to get those same warm fuzzies shopping online.

You may miss the best things when you only go online.
When you only shop online, you do a few searches for things you are looking for. You are less apt to stumble across the perfect gift or item because you are on a targeted mission and only see what the online store presents. When you’re shopping local and in person, there are a lot of serendipitous moments where something catches your eye and you walk out knowing you found a treasure.

No worries about delivery this small business season when shopping local.
With ports backed up and short staffing throughout the supply chain, there’s a lot of talk about potential delivery delays this holiday. If you shop local, you won’t need to worry about this.

Local shopping is perfect for procrastinators.
Sure, there are some online mega retailers who can get an item to you same day depending on where you live, but most times–especially as we get closer to the actual holiday–your best bet for last-minute gifts is a local shop. If you’re a procrastinator, feel free to take this reason to shop local as permission. You’ll feel less stressed about waiting, plus you won’t be depending on someone else’s delivery schedule.

You could find your next job.
If you shop in-person, you’ll quickly realize how many businesses are hiring. Who knows? You might decide to work at your favorite shop over the holidays.

Local businesses need our help to remain resilient. Therefore, in addition to running the Shop Small Season Campaign and offering a $500 prize for customers, the Seattle Southside Chamber is also including a $1,000 prize for a local business. The business where the winning purchase is made this year will receive up to $1,000 in marketing and promotion assistance from The Chamber and their partners.

Visit our Member Directory for a full list of Chamber Members so you can be sure to shop and dine where every purchase equal three chances to win! Looking for a specific gift, meal, or experience? Send us an email at Staff@SeattleSouthsideChamber.com and we’d be happy to direct you to the perfect local business.

There is no limit on the number of entries per person and no minimum requirement for purchase. Purchases must be dated from November 27th through December 19th and submitted via the online form no later than 11:59pm on December 19th to be eligible to win. Winners of both the $500 Customer and $1,000 Business prizes will be contacted and announced on social media on December 20th.

A special thank you to our members and partners and their generous support for making this program and every program possible to help serve our business community.

This Small Business Season, let’s give local and small businesses something to be thankful for:

…the gift of our support!

This article was written by Andrea H. Reay, President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila since 1988.

For more information about the Chamber, including a full list of member benefits and resources, please visit their website at www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com.