The Holmes County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging people to shop at local small businesses with a new seasonal campaign. [CONTRIBUTED]

Special to Holmes County Advertiser

The Holmes County Chamber of Commerce has announced a new campaign this year to support small businesses called Small Business Season.

The “Gnomes of Holmes” shop local program will serve as a reminder for local residents to spend some of their holiday budget with the businesses of Holmes County. Chamber leadership and their ambassadors will be distributing a wooden decorative Gnome to several Holmes County businesses.  

Business patrons are encouraged to take a selfie with the gnome (or any other gnome that the business may have) and post it to their personal Facebook page with the words “Shop Local – Shop Holmes” and to tag the participating business and the Holmes County Chamber. 

“This will be a fun way to involve the customer and their families to remind their family and friends to shop local this holiday season,” the Chamber said in a news release. 

Throughout the holiday shopping season, the Chamber is encouraging consumers to “think small” and earmark at least part of their holiday spending in support of local small business.

Chamber Vice–President Randy Torrance is leading the shop local campaign, along with Board members Emily Locke of Pepper Town Market and Cinda DeMuth of Emma Lou’s Holmes Sweet Holmes Variety Mall. 

“Small business is the backbone of our economy,” Torrance said. “64% of our new jobs in the US come from small businesses. When people spend their dollars locally, more money stays local. On average, for every $100 spent locally, $68 of that stays here.”

By implementing Small Business Season, the chamber hopes to encourage people to patronize all sorts of small businesses this holiday. 

In addition to wonderful retail options, there are dining establishments, personal service providers, and local artisans the Chamber said need support. 

“Small Business Season is a way to help residents develop a better appreciation for how their spending affects the area and quality of life,” the Chamber’s news release said. 

The chamber will be participating in local business events as they did recently with Bonifay Florist in their Christmas Open House and the upcoming First Friday event at Pepper Town Market on Dec. 1.

There will also be the Christmas Open House – Cruise In hosted by Emma Lou’s Holmes Sweet Holmes Variety Mall on Dec. 16.

The chamber will further host their third annual Jingle Mingle Christmas Open House and Networking Event on Monday, Dec. 4 at the Chamber Office at 106 E. Byrd Avenue in Bonifay. 

This event will be from 5-7 p.m. and is open to all business leaders, Chamber membership is not required to attend this event. 

“This is sure to be a great time of networking and getting to know the Business community. The theme of the night will be all things green, namely the Grinch-who will be making an appearance,” the Chamber news release said. “This event is hosted by Randy Torrance and sponsored by Green Promotions, a local provider of promotional products and marketing tools.”  

For additional information about these events or joining the Chamber, contact Donna Meldon, Holmes County Chamber Coordinator, at 850-333-8199.

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