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Newport County Chamber of Commerce Holds Press Conference Promoting   “Think Local” and “Holidays by the Sea” 

MIDDLETOWN, RI- The Newport County Chamber of Commerce hosted a press conference on Wednesday, November 25th at Perrotti Park in Newport to promote and expand the “Think Local” initiative and kick off the “Holidays by the Sea” campaign which will run from Friday, November 27th through Thursday, December 31st.

Participating retailers will be offering special discounts and promotions as well as presenting shoppers with the opportunity to enter the weekly shopping spree raffle. The shopping spree raffle will consist of multiple gift certificates from participating retailers. Two winners will be selected each Friday beginning November 27th. Shoppers are encouraged to visit retailers weekly for more chances to win.

The Chamber’s Executive Director, Erin Donovan-Boyle, stated, “The Newport County Chamber of Commerce has initiated the Holidays By The Sea program during the holiday season to encourage people from the region and throughout the state to experience the tremendous winter atmosphere in the cities by the sea by shopping in our retail stores, staying in our accommodations, dining in our restaurants and exploring the area through our many attractions open year round.  Shopping local helps the local economy to sustain and grow jobs, strengthens the local tax base, and support commerce in Newport County.  When folks start to think local, there is a multiplying effect – not only does the consumer purchase local products and services, but the overall business community benefits from the vibrancy of the region’s economy.”

Mayor of Newport, Jeanne-Marie Napolitano stated “It’s a great time to shop local.  It supports your neighbors and local businesses while enhancing a shopper’s experience, no long lines, just special attention to your needs.   Everyone in the family can find “that” something special.  We are truly blessed with a variety of small shops, at a price range to fit everyone’s budget.    When all is said and done, visit one of our many fine restaurants to treat yourself.”

“Newport is the perfect place to check off our Christmas lists,” said President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D – Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown). “We are fortunate to have an abundance of unique local shops here, so we can find that special holiday gift while also doing our part to strengthen the local economy. When we shop locally, we are also supporting local jobs and the local merchants who help shape the character of our community.”

“Small business is the backbone of the Rhode Island economy” said Mark S. Hayward, Rhode Island SBA District Director.  “It is critically important for all of us to support our small business community on small business Saturday, Shop Small / Dine Small,” Hayward added.

Robert Catanzaro, President of Independent Bank shared “Independence Bank is proud to sponsor $1,000 towards the Newport Chamber of Commerce “The Chamber Sent Me” program. The Chamber Sent Me provides select members a $10 gift certificate that can be utilized towards member retail businesses in the Newport area. Unlike other promotions, the retail business does not have to provide a discount to make the sale. For every dollar sponsored towards The Chamber Sent Me, on average an additional two dollars is spent in the retail business. We encourage other members to consider a sponsorship in this important program. This is truly “Business Helping Business,” and we are proud to be working with Erin Donovan-Boyle and the Newport Chamber staff during this holiday season.”

“The shops at Music Box and Helly Hansen wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season.  Have fun shopping and dining in Newport” Jay Lasky

As the Holiday Season kicks off, the Chamber and local merchants would like to remind residents that THINKing LOCAL is not just about shopping this holiday season but rather a mindset to support and invest in all aspects of our local communities; to think, shop and BE local.

The Newport County Chamber of Commerce is the second largest chamber in the state with about 1100 members representing over 50,000 employees. It is one of Rhode Island’s largest business advocacy organizations, formed to enhance the business, civic and economic vitality of Newport County and greater Rhode Island.  We help business succeed.

 
 

Rhode Island Foundation launches statewide Buy Local campaign ahead of Small Business Saturday

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Foundation today launched a statewide campaign to encourage Rhode Islanders to shop at locally owned businesses ahead of Small Business Saturday and the holiday shopping season.

“Buy Local RI” offers businesses and consumers a central website at buylocalri.org where merchants can market their products and services and shoppers can find locally sold products, see a calendar of holiday-related events and promotions and even sign up for email about discounts and special offers.

“Patronizing local shops and restaurants has the potential to payoff in a big way. We are talking about money that each one of us is already spending, so no additional investment is required. The return can be spectacular as the cash circulates through our economy,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “As these companies prosper, they will grow and put people back to work.”

Shifting just 10 percent of the purchasing that Rhode Island shoppers do from chains to independent, locally owned businesses has the potential to add $373 million to the state’s economy, according to a study commissioned by the Foundation. The study estimates that 57 percent of spending with locally owned retailers stays in the state’s economy compared to just 13.6 percent of spending at major national chains.

The Foundation kicked off the campaign at the Ocean State Job Lot store in Pawtucket, where small business owners talked about the importance of shopping locally.

“Shopping local helps keep our neighborhoods strong” said David Sarlitto of Ocean State Job Lot, the North Kingstown-headquartered retailer that has 15 stores in Rhode Island. “Job Lot employs hundreds of Rhode Islanders, is owned by partners who live in the state, works with many local suppliers, and has a philanthropic Charitable Foundation which gives back to numerous worthwhile community organizations. Buying local is the foundation for keeping our neighborhoods economically vibrant and healthy.”

Only locally owned, Rhode Island businesses can list their companies on the Buy Local RI website. Consumers can search by a number of fields including location, product or service and company name. There is no cost for businesses or consumers to use the website.

Among the holiday-related promotions featured on the Buy Local RI’s website’s calendar are the Newport County Chamber of Commerce’s “Holidays by the Sea” festivities, the Friends of Pawtuxet Village’s events and the “Hope Street Holiday Stroll” on Dec. 3, which includes a craft tent, sleigh rides and a petting zoo.

“Shopping locally not only adds jobs and dollars to our economy, but it also contributes to the fabric of our communities in countless ways.  Independent businesses support nonprofits, the arts, charities and co-exist with business peers to improve their neighborhood, their state and their world.  When you shop small, you invest in local businesses so that they can then invest in Rhode Island,” said Dixie Carroll, co-owner of J. Marcel in Providence.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit www.rifoundation.org.

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