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Oklahoma supports local businesses with inaugural Weekend of Local

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:55 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - The pandemic took a heavy toll on small businesses across the nation. That’s why this weekend the Independent Shopkeepers Association is encouraging communities across the state to help Oklahoma businesses with an initiative they call Weekend of Local.

“They’ve had a huge financial impact from all their lost sales and so we wanted to do something to bring customers back into their shops and show them support” said ISA executive director Cleo Rajon.

The goal of the initiative is to emphasize the importance of shopping locally. According to Rajon shopping locally is not just helpful to business owners, it also gives support to your community.

“For every dollar that you spend at a local business 67 cents of it stays in your community whereas if you spend it at a chain store only 43 cents stays in your community and that adds up quickly.”

One of the many businesses affected by the pandemic was the Ardmore Emporium antiques mall. For owner Stephanie Choate it created challenges she’d never faced before.

“Me, as an old school retailer, had to learn new ways of trying to make a sale just to try and keep our doors open” said Choate.

Choate and her business have managed to stay afloat despite the struggles and this weekend provides her with a chance to reconnect with old customers and engage with new ones.

“Us as small business owners really really just are thrilled when locals and out of towners shop with us. It just means a whole lot to us.”

Several other businesses across Ardmore are participating in this first Weekend of Local.

But ISA is hopeful that this initiative will continue to grow.

“I think this is going to become an annual thing that keeps growing.” (Rajon)

There are shops and restaurants across the state participating in the initiative so to find out which businesses are involved visit weekendoflocal.com.

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