Sharing Christmas Here at Home

Chamber Staff - Dixie Johnson, Executive Director

Dixie Johnson
Executive Director
Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

This article was published on the Opinion page
of The Sheridan Press, November 24, 2012.

The Christmas holiday season has begun. Our community came out in droves yesterday, first for the Black Friday specials and then for another great Christmas Stroll event! Santa and Mrs. Claus also report that they now have the requests from hundreds of our kids safely tucked away for that Christmas Eve trip. The parties are being planned, stores and homes are being decorated, traditional music is in the air, our hearts and hands are generously giving to others who need a little help, and hopefully we’re taking the time to celebrate and reflect on the real message of Christmas.

The holiday shopping season is also just beginning (unless you’re one of “those” people who already have all of your shopping completed). Yesterday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, has become known as Black Friday – the biggest single shopping day of the year. Today, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is Small Business Saturday, a focus created just three years ago to bring attention back to the smaller merchants at the core of many communities like Sheridan.

The holiday shopping season is also the time that we must really shout our shopping message from the rooftops: Shop Locally! Now more than ever, it’s the time to support your local merchants and your local economy.

We have an exciting and creative business community, with a vast array of what you need and what you want. And they’re willing to go the extra mile for their customers. If a store doesn’t have want you want, ask if they can get it for you. There are also new businesses in town to check out – several on Historic Main Street alone, in just the last month! Bottom line: it’s FUN to shop in Sheridan County.

Shopping Locally is even better during this holiday season. One reason, quite intentionally, is that Stroll button you purchased. Its value didn’t end last night at the Christmas Stroll event. This year we have 103 participating businesses, all located in Sheridan and each with a winning number waiting to be matched in return for an in-store prize. That means you need to visit all 103 of the businesses, anytime through Christmas Eve, to see what each winning number is. And while you’re there, remember to register your button for the new weekly prize drawings, each and every time you visit a participating business. (There are still a few Stroll buttons for sale – potential winners, of course. Call us to ask which businesses still have some buttons remaining. And see our website for a full list of the participating businesses.)

I also know that some of you, especially the guys, will be shopping up until the last minute. If you really do find yourself empty handed just before Christmas, our retailers will still come to our rescue – the Historic District Business Committee’s annual “Men’s Night Out” with ideas, specials, and goodies will be Thursday, December 20.

What if you just don’t have “the perfect gift” idea? Then give Chamber Bucks. These are gift certificate checks, in whatever amount you choose, issued by the Chamber and redeemable at any of the 560+ Chamber members! With a complete list of all those choices included with the certificate. Using Chamber Bucks is a win-win way to go … you’re giving a unique gift, your recipient can use the gift to buy exactly what he or she wants (or even to cover necessities), and your dollars will be spent in a local business. Call the Chamber to learn more or to place your order.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few other things coming up on the Chamber calendar. Next week is the deadline for enrolling for the Leadership Sheridan County 2013 program. The Community Holiday Dinner is Sunday, December 2. The next Chamber luncheon is December 12, where we’ll be presenting our annual Business Awards, followed by some Christmas fun. The annual Legislative Forum, a time when local organizations and residents present issues to our community’s state legislators, will be December 18-19. And, as I mentioned, retailers will be holding Men’s Night Out on Thursday, December 20.

Most importantly, though, let’s all join together to make this a terrific holiday season for the whole community. This is about us.








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