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Shop Local Campaign an ‘overall’ success

GREATER VALLEY AREA — “It was an overall success” is the general consensus following the recent Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce’s Shop Local Campaign, which ran from Nov. 3 to Dec. 15.

Executive Director Ashley Crane said “Anytime we can promote local business is a success.”

Crane added that this year a new tactic was taken where coupons were published in The Valley Times-News and The LaFayette Sun, as well as online, that gave customers special deals at businesses owned by Chamber members in West Point, Valley, Lanett  and LaFayette.

“It went well and several retailers had customers bringing in coupons,” she said.

Out of ever business that participated, the two most successful were Merle Norman in Valley and Johnny’s Pizza in West Point.

Ben Hamilton, manager at Johnny’s Pizza, said the coupon worked out very well with several customers coming in to claim their free garlic knots.

Merle Norman operations manager Melanie Colley added that the campaign also brought in a mix of not only regular customers, but new shoppers as well.

“It raised awareness and peaked interest in our products,” she said.

The goal of the campaign is to bring awareness of local stores and restaurants and to increase traffic at those places during the holiday buying rush.

“It brings recognition to things we need,” Crane said, noting that because the Interstate 85 is located in the area it makes it easy for people to go outside the Greater Valley Area to do their holiday shopping. “But you can get all your stuff here.”

Hamilton shared that sentiment, saying he hoped people would continue to shop local.

“It’s something out town has to offer,” he said. “It benefits everyone.”

In the aftermath of this year’s campaign, both Colley and Hamilton suggested they might be looking into continuing the idea of promotions to drive up traffic.

“We’re looking at new promotions based on the campaign as a way to increase incentives,” Colley said.