When shopping this holiday season, many local business owners are encouraging shoppers to buy from Owensboro businesses. Debi Ford, owner of Simply Chic Home Accents, has teamed up with several downtown business owners to promote their part of the city and all it has to offer.
Eight local businesses have signed up for two promotions during December — Shop with Friends and Saturday of Giving.
Shop With Friends is a Scrabble-like game that will run from Dec. 7 – 21.
Scrabble boards were handed out last weekend during Shop Owensboro and the game starts with the Holiday Stroll on Dec. 7.
The board has “Shop Downtown Owensboro” already spelled out and from there, players can use their tiles to spell words off of those.
For every $10 spent in any of the eight participating downtown businesses, you will receive one Scrabble tile. Ford said the goal is to collect as many as possible and build the highest-scoring board.
Shoppers are to turn in their board and tiles at any of the participating locations by Dec. 21 and they will receive a downtown discount card just for playing. Winners will be announced Dec. 21.
The person with the highest score will win a $50 gift card from each of the eight businesses. The second-place participant gets a $25 card from each store and third place gets a $10 gift card from each store.
“When you shop local, you shop with people you know, you get personalized service and attention,” Ford said. “You keep your money in the community, which also creates jobs locally.”
On the last day of Shop With Friends, there will be an event called Saturday of Giving.
Ford said there is such a need for socks, gloves, mittens, hats and scarves for many children and adults this time of year and the business owners wanted to do something to ease this need.
For each item donated, Ford said the businesses will give the customer $1 in store credit, up to $10 toward their purchase that day. The donated items needed to be new.
Participating businesses in both promotions are Simply Chic, In the Groove, Studio 105, Rayelle Collection, Lil Bit Sassy, The Creme, Byron & Barclay and The Sturdy Hinge.
“Our downtown group of merchants came up with the idea of the game Shop With Friends,” she said. “Everyone has always liked when we’ve had games going on downtown like our scavenger hunt or the golf scramble. The Chamber’s Shop Small bingo is always a lot of fun. We thought we would do a game that everyone could play by shopping at any or all of our businesses.”
She said spreading the game out over two weeks, rather than just one day, helps patrons not feel rushed to do all of their shopping all at once.
Ford said she hopes everyone shops local all the time, not just during the holiday season.
“Many times the things you find in local shops are unique, so you aren’t buying the same thing that thousands of other people are also buying,” she said. “Our shops are full of local artisan pieces you’ll find nowhere else.”
Ford said she thinks Owensboro’s local restaurants have some of the best food in the world.
“Go into a local business and you’ll find your neighbors, your friends, your relatives,” Ford said. “You might even get a hug before you leave. Amazon never gives you a hug for visiting their site.”