Did you know that a dollar spent at an independent retailer usually goes on to be spent six to fifteen times in the community before heading out of town? Shop local indeed! And no better time to emphasize that than in July during Independent Retailer Month.

Independent Retailer Month encourages consumers to shop local and celebrate indie retailers, creating more sustainable cities, towns and communities. Have you seen any signs of IRM in your community? As a small business owner, have you gotten on the bandwagon of this celebration? Or as a Social Media Manager have you urged your clients to participate?

Despite whatever claims the Small Business Administration has made about federal government boosting “local” businesses, it is the power that belong to the people to support the “mom and pop” single family owner shops along Main Street USA. Independent Retailer Month encourages you to reward your community’s year ‘round support during this July promotion.

  1. Bonus buck: Give customers a $1 coupon for every $10 they spend in your store in July. The coupon is redeemable in August
  2. Badges: Create campaign buttons for your staff to wear with the message: “Proud to be independent”
  3. Meet and greet: Invite your customers to meet/chat with store owners and managers. (Yes, just like at a Farmers’ Market)
  4. Community talent: Support local designers and artists by hosting a joint in-store activity (or outside if a musical performer)
  5. Run a contest: Offer the chance for one lucky winner and friends to have a private shopping party
  6. Shopping crawl: Team up with neighboring independent retailers to host a shopping crawl providing a map and prizes for participants
  7. Charity giving: Offer to donate 10% of the purchase price for each customer to a local community charity
  8. Check-in deals: Offer every shopper that can prove he/she “checked in” or tagged your store on social media an exclusive in-store promotion.

Smallbiz Trends magazine advises During July, present your retail store at its very best. Your employees should be helpful and friendly; your products should be well stocked and attractively displayed. Whenever possible, try to be in the store yourself so you can present the face of a local small business owner. Shoppers love to support independent, community businesses where they know the owners.”

Real deals for real customers who support your business not just during the summer or tourist season, but throughout the year.

{Your thoughts are ALWAYS welcome. Turn this into a conversation either here or on my Twitter account @amssvs}