Growing Business & Community - Shop Local!

As printed in the Lewiston Sentinel / Wheatfield Tribune - Niagara Frontier Publications 3/10/23

This past weekend the Lewiston businesses presented the “Sip, Shop, Eat” event.  It was held on Saturday with shopping from 1 – 5pm featuring special promotions and businesses pairing up and hosting other businesses in their store.   Attendees picked up a shopping passport, filled it out and redeemed it at  participating restaurants for a chance to win one of 15 prize packages! 

It is a great concept that was started by our Center Street businesses about six years ago.  The winter season is a tough time for our retail businesses.  This promotion was created to get people out shopping and dining – a reason to shop local and support the businesses that are here year round.

Our Chamber will always support shopping locally first, whether purchasing in person or online. When you choose to purchase items at local businesses you are supporting families that live in your community.  We do admit - sometimes it is tempting to order the product on a big box website, but more often than not, that item can be found down the street with customer service from the owner and staff of the highest caliber. 

According to SCORE (the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors), for every dollar you spend at a small business, 67 cents stays in the local community, and a majority of that (44 cents) goes to the small business owner and the wages and benefits of their employees. The benefits don’t stop there, either. Small businesses reinvest 23 cents of every dollar into other local businesses.

The business typically hires workers in the surrounding communities, meaning wages and wage taxes remain local and move through the economy.  Business revenue contributes to local sales tax which support the local governments.   The local governments create programs to benefit the quality of life in the community.  The ripple effect continues on.

Local business owners understand the communities they are in.  They support hundreds of non-profit organizations through donation requests.  Here are a few easy ways to support a local business.
1. Shop local first (online or in person)
2. Purchase a gift certificate to use later or to gift
3. SHARE their information within your networks! Social media is a great way to share information
4. Apply for a position. Many of our local businesses are hiring right now!
4. Stop in and thank your local business owner for being there.

We encourage you to get out and support local businesses, not just this weekend, but every weekend.  They are the backbone of our communities.  For more information on how you can support local businesses, visit

Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

Growing Business Community 2