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‘That community feeling’: Myrtle Beach chamber encourages people to shop small for holidays

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 5:25 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – If you plan on getting a big bulk of your Christmas shopping done this holiday weekend, Myrtle Beach businesses leaders are asking you to consider shopping small.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraging shoppers to visit locally owned stores this holiday season.

The chamber said shopping at small businesses benefits the entire community because those same businesses are likely to give back to the neighborhoods they serve.

The owner of Atomic Blonde’s Donuts Stacey Robidoux agrees with that statement.

She started her company last month and said her new business has thrived because of the community’s support.

She said spending inside a “mom and pop” shop is an experience you won’t always get shopping inside a big box store.

“They know your name when you walk in the store. Nobody knows my name when I go into Walmart. I’m just another person. You go to a small business, there’s that connection. There’s that community feeling and that’s what really keeps the community alive,” said Robidoux.

Bridgett Bolie with B-Nice Creations with Love in downtown Myrtle Beach added that many small businesses are still trying to rebound from what they lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that’s one reason why she’s hosting the second annual “Welcome to the Neighborhood’ Christmas-themed event December 11. The event is meant to put a spotlight on vendors and businesses who need local support.

“We’re hoping we can try to get back on track like we use to be, hoping we can get more people out to support us,” Bolie said.

The neighborhood event will take place on Dec 11 from noon until 6 p.m., at 534 Broadway Street, Suite 106.

WMBF News also spoke with a small business helping other businesses flourish across the area. .

Michelle Griffin is a brand ambassador for Cool Ideas Marketing in Myrtle Beach, a small business that promotes companies.

Every Wednesday, Griffin posts a video on Facebook, to inspire and motivate people and businesses across the Grand Strand community.

One piece of advice she has for any small shop trying to get back on their feet and attract more customers this holiday season- use the tools you’ve already got.

”Find what it was that drove you to start the business to begin with,” Griffin said. " Stick to that. That’s the game plan. Take your niche, whatever it is and work that niche. That’s what sets you apart as a local business. You’re got what you’ve got locally and we get to come and take advantage of that not only on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year.”

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is also offering an extra incentive to shop small during the holiday season.

“Small Business Saturday and the holiday shopping season is an excellent opportunity to patronize our local businesses that offer one-of-a-kind gifts and experiences for you and your loved ones. As an added incentive to shop local, we’re giving away holiday gift cards worth $150 in total to four lucky winners,” said MBACC President and CEO Karen Riordan.

To enter into the drawing, just shop at a Grand Strand business and send the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce a picture of your receipts that are dated Nov. 1 through Dec. 17 and totaling at least $150 or more.

CLICK HERE for instructions on how to submit the receipts.

A recent study by LendingTree says the pandemic has strengthened 63% of consumers’ loyalty for small businesses. It also say 49% of Americans plan to shop small this holiday weekend.

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