Holiday shoppers spreading some green today on Black Friday will get the chance to do the same for small businesses Saturday.
The annual Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce Chamber Dollar$ holiday shopping incentive is under way.
Chamber Dollar$ are like a gift card or a gift certificate but are actually a check from the Chamber.
Chamber Dollar$ are also gift ideas for occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings.
The goal is to shop, and spend, locally.
Thats what it was designed for, said Chamber Vice President Lee A. Jones. To get people to shop locally. To spend their money locally.
Chamber Dollar$ can be purchased in denominations of $5 to $100 at no additional cost to the buyer, only the face value of the check being purchased. Buyers of more than five checks are asked to call the Chamber office ahead of time to ensure faster service.
Chamber officials say the Chamber Dollar$ program keeps shopping dollars and tax revenues local, strengthens the economy and supports business growth.
Tomorrows national observance of Small Business Saturday, merchants say, provides an ideal opportunity for consumers and vendors to flex some local economic muscle together.
We are a small business, said Joseph M. Basta, owner of Bastas Flowers and Gifts, 619 Main St., Ogdensburg. It is extremely important to shop locally.
In the past year, Bastas, a Chamber Dollar$ participating business, has expanded its non-floral gifts lines and stepped up its marketing through pamphlets, fliers and its www.bastasflowers.com website.
We went all out, Mr. Basta said.
Fellow Chamber Dollar$ participant William D. Hosmer, owner of Hosmers Marina, 54 E. River St., is all for the local emphasis.
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, he said.
Myra Raymond, owner of Candyland, 424 King St., agrees.
I think its important to shop local, she said. And you have to have a good location.
Participating Chamber Dollar$ businesses are listed on the Chambers web site - www.ogdensburgny.com - on a rack card included with each check purchased and in the Chambers monthly newsletter. Some of the participants offer a discount to anyone redeeming a check such as a 10-percent discount or a free soda with a meal purchase.
For more information, call the Chamber at 393-3620, visit its office at Bridge Plaza, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.