Instead of braving the mall this holiday season, the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging shoppers to keep their dollars local.
The chamber’s fourth annual Christmas Stroll and second annual Holiday Market will take place Saturday in Richmond Hill.
Nearly 100 local businesses have agreed to take part in the events, which are intended to promote Richmond Hill merchants and encourage local spending during the holiday shopping season.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy,” said Brianne Yontz, the chamber’s executive director. “Most people I know who live in Richmond hill say, ‘I wish we had more shopping or dining places.’ But to get that, we have to support the ones we already have. If we don’t, then they’re going to have a hard time keeping their doors open.”
Participating stroll businesses will operate during their regular Saturday hours. Each will be marked with red and green balloons on the day of the stroll, and many will feature special sales and promotions for shoppers.
In addition to the brick-and-mortar locations around town, the Holiday Market will feature booths by home-based businesses and vendors from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in the J.F. Gregory Park pavilion.
“In total, we have nearly 70 businesses participating in the market. A lot of the regular Richmond Hill Farmers Market vendors will be returning, and we have a few new faces, too,” said Yontz. “It’s a good way for businesses that are home-based or don’t have a storefront to sell their merchandise.”
To encourage people to turn out for the stroll, the chamber will hold a drawing at the end of the event. Shoppers who spend more than $50 with one or more stroll or market participants can present their receipts for a chance to win one of two $250 gift cards. Receipts can be turned in Saturday at the Holiday Market before 4 p.m. or Monday at the chamber office before 5 p.m.
For the little ones, Santa will be on hand for photographs from 12-2 p.m. There will also be holiday music games and face painting available.
“It’s a fun way to shop for the holidays and support your local businesses,” said Yontz. “I hope people take advantage of some of the really cool gift opportunities there are in Richmond Hill.”
To see a list of all participating locations, turn to page XX in this issue of the Bryan County News.
For more information, visit the chamber’s website, www.rhbcchamber.org, or call 756-3444.