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Last Christmas season, in an effort to support locally owned and operated businesses, I made a point to shop FIRST in downtown Camas, Washougal, and other small companies in Vancouver. My goal was to buy as much as I could without going to the mall, or into the traffic congested streets of Portland — or even going online.

The results amazed me! I was able to make 80 percent of my purchases before going anywhere else. I found some really cool treasures, some really fun gifts that my sons continue to enjoy. Once I did all I could at these sweet little shops, I ventured to the malls, struggled to find a parking space, listened to the madness, and made other purchases.

Yes, the mall has some great things, too, and I was happy to support the local business there, as well. But, I was all too pleased to leave and return to the peace of Downtown Camas to sip a hot chocolate at Caffe Piccolo, or enjoy a burger at Feast.

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Inside Lily Atelier, in Downtown Camas.

I see daily the up’s and down’s that local small businesses contend with, and I appreciate their steadfastness and continued hard work to serve us. So, I went to several local shops, and asked them what we can do to support them.

Here’s the list:

  1. When you visit the store, check-in on social media.
  2. Snap a photo of a product you like.
  3. Post the photo and tag the store on social media.
  4. Share your favorite store’s social media posts. Like, follow, share, share, share.
  5. Bring in your out-of-town guests.
  6. Follow the store on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
  7. Word of mouth. Simply tell your friends to shop there for Christmas purchases.
  8. Get to know the retailers and how they support other businesses, including local artists, jewelers, card designers.
  9. Choose in-store products that give back to charitable foundations.
  10. Boost a store’s Yelp presence by giving them a positive review.

And, of course, buy, buy, buy!

 

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