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Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce encourages shopping local with end-of-year campaign

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:12 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In a campaign to encourage Fairbanks residents to shop locally, the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce (GFCC) is running a campaign called “Around the Town in 80 Days.”

Beginning on October 14th and currently in its sixth week, the effort involves shopping at local highlighted businesses, saving the receipts, and submitting them to the Chamber at the end of the year for a chance to win 2 Alaska Airlines tickets.

Marisa Sharrah, CEO and President of the GFCC, said, “I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people maybe shifted their consumer behaviors to online, especially at a time when businesses may not have been open, or maybe had shifted their hours.”

She added, “We’re just here to remind people that you can shop locally. We have a lot of great local businesses in our community, and want to get those businesses in front of people’s minds in our community so that you can make sure to support your local economy and support the businesses that keep this community running.”

Each week, five or six businesses are spotlighted. During this week, which runs from Wednesday to the following Tuesday, participants in the campaign shop at the indicated locations and receive a receipt for their purchase. In order to be featured, a business must be a member of GFCC.

Receipts go into a specialized envelope which is then submitted to the GFCC. According to Sharrah, over 600 envelopes have been distributed so far, and new envelopes can be picked up at any time at the GFCC office and participating businesses.

“The goal here is not to get people to spend a bunch of money that they wouldn’t have spent otherwise. The goal here is that if you’re going to spend some money, spend it locally,” Sharrah explained.

According to Sharrah, November 28th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is known as Small Business Saturday nationwide. On this day, a receipt from any featured business during the duration of the contest will be eligible to win.

“I’ve heard from people who have said ‘Oh, I got to try a new business that I didn’t even know, or I have never been to before,’ whereas other people are saying things like ‘Oh, this is one of my favorite businesses. I’m so glad that they were featured. I was happy to work them into my week this week.’ So I think it really is a nice balance between finding maybe new gems in our community, but then also being able to support some of your favorites,” she said.

More information about the campaign can be found here.

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