Residents urged to ‘Shop Local” to help businesses hurt by pandemic

Businesses get ready for Christmas boost

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic are counting on a strong Holiday season to help get them into the new year. In Salisbury, as well as other communities in the area, there’s a big effort to encourage people to shop local and support those locally owned stores and restaurants.

Alissa Redmond bought The South Main Book Company in January, two months later…

“In March I had to apply for an exemption to keep from closing because we are an educational provider," Redmond said.

The store has stayed open, largely due to the loyalty of customers.

“I feel like this is a tough time and I don’t want to see this wonderful store close," said customer Kit Davis.

Merchants here are pushing the idea for residents to shop local for the Holidays. The Rowan Convention Visitors Bureau and Rowan Chamber have helped with signs and marketing.

“If you don’t want all of the businesses around you to close and end up shopping only on Amazon because that’s your only option," Redmond added.

Dennis Lunsford runs The Kitchen Store on N. Main Street.

“It’s always been important to shop local but it’s even more important this year," Lunsford said. “Shopping local is cool. You can pick it up, touch it, feel it, it’s a lot better experience.”

The Spice and Tea Exchange opened one year ago and has weathered the pandemic so far. They’re hoping for a strong season.

“We’ve had some great events, opportunities, seems like sales are starting to pick up, things have just been a little bit back and forth lately, so things are still unpredictable," said Connie Beasley.

To try and make the shopping experience safer, Salisbury Police are providing the Santa Patrol, where police monitor popular shopping spots. It’s part of the overall effort to convince shoppers to stay close to home.

“Keeping it local, your money stays in the community, 67% of every dollar stays in the community if you spend it locally," Redmond added.

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