GI Chamber of Commerce encourages shopping locally

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Black Friday is just over two weeks away and many people are getting ready to start making those holiday purchases. Grand Island's Chamber of Commerce is now encouraging them to make their big buys at local businesses.

The A-List Boutique in Grand Island offers a wide range of clothing, unlike items found at superstores. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

They started their Shop Local, Shop Small campaign this month to encourage people to keep their money in the community instead of going online or visiting big box stores.

"One of the hardest jobs in the world is to be a small business owner," Chamber President Cindy Johnson told Local4 News. "Any time that we as purchasers or consumers can support a small business, it's incredibly important."

Supporting local businesses means you're supporting your friends, neighbors and those who are working to better the community.

"These are the individuals who are supporting our community," Johnson said. "They are taking that risk to open up a business, they are committed to our community and we want to see them succeed."

One Grand Island native opened The A-List Boutique downtown last year and says she couldn't have done it without the help from the community.

"Our community support has been absolutely fabulous," boutique owners Amanda Hadenfeldt said. "We definitely have a great group of awesome shoppers here and customers who have truly made this year way better than we could've ever expected, honestly."

With a year under their belt, Hadenfeldt says she feels the store is prepared to tackle the holiday shopping madness. She encourages people to shop locally, saying you get a whole different experience than at a superstore.

"I think the biggest thing with that is that you get that community support here that we offer," she said. "We offer help with sizing, help putting your outfits together, just that customer service that you're not going to see at a big chain type store. Just the individual unique pieces that you're going to find here versus the big box stores, I think that will really set you apart for your holiday shopping."

Shopping local benefits the consumer, the community and also impacts the environment.

"When you shop local, you reduce environmental waste," Chamber Vice President, Dana Dennison, said.. A lot of waste comes from the shipping, the packaging the gas. That's just another reason to shop local."

Many local businesses, including the A-List Boutique will be hosting holiday sales and discounts.