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Tis the Season to Shop Small, Shop Local

As Moore County gets into the spirit of holiday shopping, the spirit of shopping locally to support our County’s businesses is growing.  We all know what a tremendous negative impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on many of our local businesses, so the spirit of resiliency and of residents coming together to “Shop Small, Shop Local” in Moore County this holiday season is heart-warming.

Choosing to do holiday shopping in Moore County will make a direct, positive impact on the community.  Even if you don’t live in Moore County, plan on shopping here anyway, either in-person or online, where you’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family.

“Whether it is tipping a bit more at a restaurant, picking up a gift card, visiting a local store or shopping curbsides,” said Linda Parsons, president and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce. “We say ‘shop local’ every year — that is nothing new; but people really need to dig deep and think about every neighbor in their community and how the pandemic has affected them. People need to think outside the box. Don’t do it the easy way with click and ship.”

The holidays are the perfect time to get out and explore, to visit a different area town or drop by a new store or restaurant.  From Middleton Street in Robbins to Main Street in Aberdeen, each community in Moore County has a unique feel and shops you won’t find anywhere else.

“I saw a great meme this week that said to ‘shop your values.’ I was like, ooh, that is a good visualization,” said Katrin Franklin, president of Pinehurst Business Partners and owner of Bump and Baby Boutique in Pinehurst and This Little Piggy boutique in Southern Pines.

“This is our community. Shopping locally is one more way to support the values you’ve invested in by choosing to live here,” she added. “To me this is not about business or money, it is really about supporting your neighbor.”

Parsons said there throughout the pandemic there has been emphasis on the important role of our frontline healthcare and service workers. By shopping locally, consumers can put themselves on the frontline of protecting the area’s economy.

Last year the Moore Chamber launched “Together We Are Moore,” a social media campaign to remind people that supporting local retail and restaurants should be a year-round endeavor.

When the pandemic hit in March, the hashtag was widely embraced as a call to action. T-shirts were designed around the #togetherwearemoore slogan and Southern Pines Brewing Co. even developed a special Together We are Moore pilsner that was sold exclusively to help benefit local businesses.

“It speaks volumes that our community recognizes the need to shop local and took that hashtag to the next level. It is kind of ironic that through the pandemic, this gave us an identity all our own that any business can use.”

Now another campaign is being launched, a “Shop Moore Challenge” to encourage local residents to fulfill their holiday shopping entirely at local retailers rather than out-of-town, catalog or mammoth digital fulfillment houses.  The important component is keeping local dollars in Moore County.

Even those not in a financial position to make purchases can help by using the Together We Are Moore hashtag and encouraging others to shop locally.

“Our business owners are being as optimistic as possible. They have put in all the safeguards that are necessary to make people comfortable shopping in-person and created opportunities for online and curbside services too,” Parsons said.

“At the end of the day, the presents you give should be local purchases that you are giving.”  Shop yourself a very local Christmas!

Check out this list of Moore County retailers:

(Original Story by Laura Douglass, The Pilot)

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