Chamber urges you to shop local

An explosion of holiday gifts at Rainy Day. —Stacey Rupolo

In an effort to support local shops that make the Martha’s Vineyard community strong and diverse, the Chamber of Commerce joined the Small Business Saturday movement in 2012. Since then, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has become the perfect day to encourage Islanders, seasonal homeowners, and visitors alike to get offline and very deliberately do more holiday shopping at the Island’s small businesses, according to a chamber press release.

Small Business Saturday continues to be an annual holiday shopping tradition, with anywhere from 25 to 50 businesses participating each year. The rules are simple: Participating businesses need to offer a Small Business Saturday special — something unique for that day only. Island businesses have been very creative throughout the years, offering value-added incentives, discounts, and refreshments to show shoppers their appreciation for choosing to bypass the lure of online and box-store shopping in favor of shopping locally.

“No one is immune to the convenience of online shopping,” said Nancy Gardella, director of the Chamber of Commerce, said in the release. “The chamber has been a Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion for years, because, at the end of the day, a visit to the family-owned shop or a stop at the neighborhood restaurant not only supports our local economy, but also promotes thriving communities.”

The chamber will be open Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm to assist shoppers and members, the release states. For deals, check out the Chamber’s Facebook page.