ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) – At the beginning of the holiday shopping season York and Lancaster County Chambers of Commerce started campaigns to encourage people to shop locally in their home towns.
The effort is an attempt to persuade people not to spend money in other cities such as Charlotte, in a way to give local communities an economic boost.
Now that the Christmas shopping season is over, Allison Love at Allison Loves Fine Jewelry in Rock Hill says in the more than 50 years her family has been running a locally owned jewelry and gift shop she's had the best Christmas sale yet.
Part of her success this time, she says, was York County's "Buy into it, York County" shop local campaign. "We've just started making people aware of the differences that it can make to shop local," said Love.
The Lancaster and York Chambers of Commerce say they won't know for about three months how much, or if any of a boost the shop local campaigns gave local retailers.
However, Jessica Hegler says she made a conscious effort to shop local, because of Lancaster County's, "Think Lancaster First", shop local campaign.
"All the stores have exactly what you need, well what I need, and they're all at a good price so it saves me money and saves me gas money from going out of town," said Hegler.
Hegler says she spent around $600 shopping for Christmas gifts, but more importantly she saved around $400 dollars by staying near home to shop.
Love believes the key now is not to just ask folks to shop local, but to get the local mom and pop stores to be more competitive versus the bigger stores.
"What we have to do now as local businesses is to convince the people they're not going to lose anything by shopping local," said Love.
Love hopes the work put forth by the Chambers to get folks to shop locally will be more than a Holiday time flash in the pan. However, to get more shoppers to think local is going to take work on retailers part too.
"The fact of the matter is this; the businesses that want the business and do everything they can to get the business are the ones that are going to get the business, local or not," said Love.