Lake Tahoe South Shore businesses encourage local shopping
Rules of Go Local and Win! initiative
1) Shop at any South Shore business starting on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 and through Jan. 1.
2) Save your receipts and then submit a form every Friday during Go Local & Win! for a chance to win weekly prizes. Individuals receive a point for every dollar spent and double points for every dollar spent at a chamber member business. The individual that spent the most at local businesses that week will win a prize. The winner will be announced on social media following Monday.
3) Every form submitted with receipts gets a person one step closer to the grand prizes. Win a grand prize for total amount spent or for total number of receipts submitted.
4) Follow the Tahoe Chamber Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tahoechamber for the latest info and winners. Don’t forget to take pictures when you’re shopping to show your support for local businesses and tag Tahoe Chamber.
Kelly Brosch opened her shop, GaiaLicious Global Gift Boutique, on Tallac Avenue in 2006 because she believed entrepreneurship was an investment in the community.
Nine years later, the belief continues to sustain her small, local business.
“I like small stores myself, so I wanted to offer South Lake Tahoe something different than what it already had,” she said.
Brosch’s shop offers locally produced clothing, jewelry and crafts. She said those gifts might appeal to locals and visitors as the holiday season kicks off, especially as Small Business Saturday approaches on Nov. 28.
Small Business Saturday emphasizes shopping at local stores, rather than at big box stores or online.
Brosch noted that American Express started the Small Business Saturday initiative in 2010. Since then it has grown, with approximately 88 million people shopping nationwide at small brick-and-mortar shops in 2014.
“It’s a reminder to get people away from big box stores and shop at locally owned businesses,” Brosch said. “A lot of those small businesses are owned by community members, and by supporting them, the money stays in the local economy.”
She added that small businesses also offer a more personal touch compared to major retail outlets. Her shop, for example, will encourage potential customers to walk or bike on Friday, Nov. 27, or bring their own bags as part of “Green Friday.”
The Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce (Tahoe Chamber) agrees, according to its communications director Shannon Earley.
“It’s really crucial to shop locally because it puts money back into the economy,” she said.
According to Tahoe Chamber, “money spent at a local business generates three-and-a-half times more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent at a chain store.”
Earley added that Tahoe Chamber plans to encourage community members to shop locally with the launch of its holiday Go Local and Win! initiative.
Between Nov. 28 and Jan. 1, Tahoe Chamber will hold a weekly contest where community members can submit their receipts online.
The person who spends the most at local businesses will win a prize. One dollar equals one point, or two points if the business is a Chamber member.
Two grand prizes will be announced after the campaign concludes. One person will be awarded a prize based on total number of receipts submitted. The second prize is based on the total amount spent locally.
However, Earley stressed that people should always shop locally, not just during the holidays.
“Personally, my friends make it point to shop locally and look at the shops on Harrison Street and at Heavenly Village,” she said. “There has been a shift in people shopping locally and realizing how important it is for the community.”
Peter Hussmann, owner of Lake of the Sky Outfitters on Emerald Bay Road, said small businesses are a true reflection of South Lake Tahoe.
“Small businesses really represent the diversity of a community because they are unique in what they offer,” he said.
Hussmann and his wife Nancy opened their shop in 2009 when they realized there was a need for a specialty outdoor and backpacking store in South Lake Tahoe.
In addition to the retail service it provides, Lake of the Sky Outfitters also helps direct hikers who travel the Pacific Crest Trail between Canada and Mexico to local services.
“Small businesses are more likely to be involved in community activities,” he added.
Hussmann said that Small Business Saturday reminds locals to explore options within their community.
“We have a lot of small businesses tucked away in little shopping centers, so sometimes they can be missed,” Hussmann said. “Small Business Saturday gives people the mindset to go and explore them.”
For more information on Tahoe Chamber’s Go Local and Win! initiative, visit http://www.tahoechamber.org/go-local-win.