Life, liberty and the pursuit of shopping local

  • Friday, June 27, 2014

July 4 may be Independence Day, but July 1 to 7 is Independents Week in Georgetown.

The Georgetown Business Association is organizing the local take on this national event, which is designed to promote shopping local at independent, small businesses.

“We’re all proud as Americans to celebrate our independence. Probably ‘independent’ is the single best word to describe the American spirit, because we’ve been independent in our thinking, our businesses, our education, this is just natural to take the word ‘independence’ in July and focus on independents (businesses) and promote that,” said Peter Mitchell, GBA vice president.

Mitchell said the GBA got the idea for the event from board member Linda Abate.

“Last year we all participated in Small Business Saturday… and this year we thought we would do a joint effort event,” she said. The group decided on Independents Week, which is organized nationally through the American Independent Business Alliance.

The GBA board and full membership all received the idea enthusiastically, Mitchell said. The member businesses, which total more than 60, have been preparing for the week since early June.

Abate said many of the businesses have discussed holding sales and promotions specifically for the Independents Week.

Many businesses are also discussing the idea of staying open for the Fourth of July because of the event, Mitchell said.

He described the participants’ enthusiasm as a sign of an improving economy and morale among local business owners and shoppers alike.

“There’s lots of vitality and excitement for the development of Georgetown, it’s coming to be our time. Things are coming together well and we’re really going to drive that momentum forward with events like Independents Week,” he said.

The organizers are also planning on using the special July 3 Music in the Park to promote the event.

For Abate, who owns The Sly Fox on Front Street, the week is a way to ask local patrons and summer shoppers to support Georgetown’s community and economy.

“We all support each other. When you buy from us where does the money go? It goes back to other local businesses, local families,” said Abate. “Where does the money go when you buy from [a big box]? I’m not sure. I guess it goes to ... China.”

Mitchell said he anticipates the event to be successful in supporting local businesses.

“We have all kinds of good ideas percolating all over, and the environment here is very receptive to this creativity.”

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