County executive encourages shopping small and local this holiday season

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter recently joined small business leaders at Dearborn Music in Farmington to encourage holiday shoppers to purchase gifts and other items locally, especially on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26. Oakland County is promoting the “Shop Small and Local” campaign for the 2022 holiday season.

“Small businesses are the backbones of our communities, providing residents and visitors with a welcoming and vibrant environment for shopping, dining and visiting with family and friends,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “These are the businesses that employ our neighbors and continue to contribute to a robust and thriving economy.”

Joining Coulter were Dearborn Music owner Rick LeAnnais, Loft Cigar Lounge owner, and Downtown Development Authority Vice Chair Donovan Singleton, and Downtown Farmington Executive Director Kate Knight. Like many business owners, LeAnnais and Singleton are looking forward to holiday shoppers helping their businesses to continue their recovery from the lean pandemic years.

“Independent retailers in the music industry have niche selections that may not be found elsewhere,” LeAnnais said. “That’s part of the advantage of shopping small and local – finding that unique gift for that special person on your holiday shopping list.”

Shopping small and local this holiday season helps local communities thrive.

“Nine out of ten Downtown Farmington businesses are independent, and a third of those are women or minority owned,” Knight said. “With every dollar you spend shopping downtown at a small business, 67 cents stay in the local community.

Downtown Farmington is proud to feature more than 150 small businesses within a five-minute walk. Spending your dollars downtown is a great way to contribute to a thriving local and regional economy.  Our merchants thank you, and your gift recipients will, too.”

The county has created a webpage at www.OakGov.com/ShopSmall where shoppers can search for community holiday activities and businesses and community partners can discover resources to support shopping locally.

Oakland County’s Local Gems sweepstakes also continues through Nov. 26. The program is designed to increase visibility and foot traffic in the county’s small businesses during the holiday shopping season. Anyone can submit a selfie photo taken at an Oakland County small business that they consider to be “local gems” for a chance at winning a $1,000 first prize or $500 second prize. The prize money is being provided by Genisys Credit Union, which also supplied Main Street
Oakland County communities with shopping bags, community banners, and posters for the holiday shopping season.

"We are excited to return as the partner with Oakland County for the 2022 Shop Small & Local campaign. By partnering, Genisys is able to further our investments in our local neighborhoods and communities," said Jackie Buchanan, president & CEO of Genisys Credit Union. "We are also excited to give back to those who shop small and local this holiday season when they enter the 'Local Gem' sweepstakes. Your investment in supporting small businesses is vital in moving our local economy and communities forward."

Entries should be submitted to www.OakGov.com/ShopSmall.

With each entry of a different Oakland County small business, participants increase their odds of winning.  To be eligible, participants must be 18 years or older. Any person who wants to participate, including business owners, does not have to be in the photo, but can enter each business only once. Prizes will be distributed on Dec. 15.

Partners in the Local Gems sweepstakes include Main Street Oakland County, local chambers of commerce and the county’s Business Forward team.

Community partners and businesses that want posters and cards to promote the Local Gems Sweepstakes Program should contact Erick Phillips at phillipse@oakgov.com. Digital versions of materials and social media graphics are available on the website under resources: www.OakGov.com/ShopSmall.

Follow all the local gems submitted on Facebook at @AdvantageOak #LocalGemOC

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