From the South Orange Village Center Alliance “Village Vibe”:
The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA), the Maplewood Village Alliance and the Springfield Avenue Partnership along with the Maplewood and South Orange Chambers of Commerce are partnering this year to present Shop Local SOMA for the Holidays! (shoplocalsoma.com).
This is a brand new initiative from all 5 organizations, as we are asking everyone in the greater SOMA community to pledge that they will purchase at least 3 gifts during the holiday season at local, independently owned stores in South Orange and Maplewood. We know that you can buy almost any gift you may be looking to give at a local store in our community, so we’re urging everyone to do just that this holiday season.
Why are we doing this? Because the more money we spend locally in our towns, the more money will stay in our local towns. It’s really that simple. Numerous studies, including one recent Chicago study, shows that for every $100 you spend at a locally owned business $68 remains in the local community versus only $43 of every $100 spent at a national big box retailer. Additionally, for many of our merchants, the holiday season is really make or break, as some stores take in as much as 25% of their entire sales for the year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shopping online at mega-sites like Amazon bring virtually nothing back to our community. Sure, it’s convenient, but it doesn’t help our local economy. And last, but certainly not least, the owners of our local stores live here as well, so by shopping locally you are supporting your friends and neighbors.
Our 5 groups have joined together to ask all of you take the pledge: will you purchase at least 3 holiday gifts from local stores this year? We’re counting on the fact that you will say a resounding YES to taking the pledge, which is why we have created this website. It’s so easy – just go to the site and click on the “Make the Pledge” link, put in your name and your town, and you’re all set! You will join the ranks of your SOMA friends and neighbors who are also taking the pledge! Oh, there’s one more thing we want you to do: share this site on your social media pages. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest – whatever. Just share it so you can help spread the word! And please use the hashtag #shoplocalsoma when you’re tagging.
Taking the pledge is such an easy way to spread the wealth among our hard working local business owners and employees who make our two towns so vibrant. I hope everyone who reads the Village Vibe will join us in this effort, and on behalf of all of our local businesses, I want to say thank you in advance for your support.