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Don’t forget to shop small during holidays

Amy Clickner

With the holiday season underway, here in Marquette County we truly have many reasons to be thankful. We are lucky to live in this wonderful community filled with amazing organizations, businesses and people. On behalf of the Lake Superior Community Partnership, we want to thank all of our partners and stakeholders who continue to assist in economic development in our region. By working together we make Marquette County a great place to live, work, play and shop!

I am sure by now you’ve seen the TV commercials, newspaper ads and social media posts promoting holiday shopping. They certainly seem to start earlier and earlier each year. With so many shopping options out there, I hope you’ll consider all that is available locally to meet your gift giving needs.

Nov. 30, marks the 10th anniversary of the shopping holiday that has become known as Small Business Saturday. This is a great opportunity to get out in the community and support the small businesses that support us! They employ our friends, family and neighbors and have a major impact on our local economy. Consider this, if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy (Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, MI). That is nearly 70% of every dollar spent that will remain in our community!

Over the past 10 years, Small Business Saturday spending has reached an estimated $103 billion (that’s with a “b”). Imagine that amount being spent in only nine days!

On a larger scale, “America’s 30 million small businesses are the engine of job creation and economic growth in this country, creating nearly two out of every three new jobs in the United States and employing over half the nation’s workforce.” (U.S. Small Business Administration)

In Marquette County, there are several programs and incentives that encourage shopping locally. For instance, the “Key to the County” program at the LSCP and the “Be Local, Buy Local” that has been housed in the local chambers of commerce. This is the fourth year of this local shopping and rewards program, which has now reached 2,881 app users and 48 businesses! This great program will continue with its various partners and stakeholders, but housed out of the LSCP! Stay tuned for more information.

The LSCP itself also provides a shop local program called “Key to the County.” All LSCP partner businesses receive “keys” for their staff that offer discounts at over 50 businesses throughout Marquette County! There are discounts on retail, dining and services at a variety of businesses year round.

Any LSCP partner is able to provide a discount to other LSCP partners. It is a tangible way to maximize investment by attracting new customers to your place of business without spending additional advertising dollars. Simply contact Megan, the LSCP’s new outreach coordinator, at 906-226-6591 or megan@marquette.org and she can get your discount added to the program. Need more keys for your staff? Just let her know and we will make sure you get restocked. The key can be added to your keychain, making it easily available to show cashiers and receive your discount.

“Having a discount in the LSCP’s Key to the County program is great for Aubree’s because it allows us to attract new customers, support other LSCP member businesses and provide an added benefit for our employees,” says Aubree’s Pizzeria and Grill Restaurant Manager Jessica Lampinen.

Check out Aubree’s 10% off (alcohol excluded) discount and many others at our website, marquette.org.

Here at the LSCP, we are extremely thankful to work with all of these businesses and support their growth. This time of year, when you are planning to step up your shopping game, please remember to support them. Small Business Saturday is coming up quickly and is the perfect time to patronize the retail shops and restaurants that support our community all year round.

Editor’s NOTE: Amy Clickner is CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.