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Columbus Bucks encourages shopping local

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Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce

The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, 753 33rd Ave.

With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the next item on many people’s minds is Black Friday, but let’s not forget Small Business Saturday.

As in year’s past the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraging the community to shop local, said Sandie Fischer, who handles chamber membership development, among other things. Two ways the chamber does this is through Columbus Bucks and encouraging Small Business Saturday.

Columbus Bucks is money that can only be spent locally in Columbus. The chamber has an account for these bucks where people can come in and buy them dollar for dollar with no service charge. The chamber has been doing the Columbus Bucks program for many years, she said.

Fischer said these can be used in all sorts of ways from tipping your mail carrier for the holiday season to incentives or bonuses for your employees. The City of Columbus purchases many dollars worth of Columbus Bucks for its employees, she added.

“We have thousands of dollars that go out in Columbus Bucks that can only be spent here in Columbus at our chamber members,” Fischer said. “The money is staying here and it’s not going out of town, and that’s the neat part about it. The money stays locally to support our local businesses.”

The goal is to support local business and to support chamber members, Fischer said. Columbus Bucks support this goal. And you use the bucks just as you would cash. For example, Loup Power District is a member. If you wanted, you can use Columbus Bucks to pay your bill.

“(By doing this), it’s showing your support for local business here in Columbus,” Fischer said. “Cash, you can spend anywhere, but here you’re showing support for our local businesses, and we all know how important it is to support our local entrepreneurs, our local small businesses, because those are the people that are donating back to our church bazaars, they’re donating to our post-prom, they’re donating to a fundraiser for someone who's going through cancer. We knock on their doors every day asking for donations and here's our opportunity then to help support them.

“It supports those who support us.”

For Small Business Saturday, Santa will be coming in at noon on a firetruck. He will ride down 13th Street, stopping at the Columbus Area Antique Fire Apparatus Museum. Starting this week he will be available noon to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

“Shop and support our businesses,” Fischer said. “ … They’re all small shops and we have to keep them alive. Christmas is your make it, if you don’t make it at Christmas, you’re out of business. Which it’s so true. It’s the holiday season that keeps them alive.”

For more information on Columbus Bucks or Small Business Saturday, call the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce at 402-564-2769.

Monica Garcia is the managing editor at The Columbus Telegram. Reach her by email at monica.garcia@lee.net

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