The Newport County Chamber of Commerce hosted a press conference on Wednesday, November 25th at Perrotti Park in Newport to promote and expand the “Think Local” initiative and kick off the “Holidays by the Sea” campaign which will run from Friday, November 27th through Thursday, December 31st.

Participating retailers will be offering special discounts and promotions as well as presenting shoppers with the opportunity to enter the weekly shopping spree raffle. The shopping spree raffle will consist of multiple gift certificates from participating retailers. Two winners will be selected each Friday beginning November 27th. Shoppers are encouraged to visit retailers weekly for more chances to win.

The Chamber’s Executive Director, Erin Donovan-Boyle, stated, “The Newport County Chamber of Commerce has initiated the Holidays By The Sea program during the holiday season to encourage people from the region and throughout the state to experience the tremendous winter atmosphere in the cities by the sea by shopping in our retail stores, staying in our accommodations, dining in our restaurants and exploring the area through our many attractions open year round.  Shopping local helps the local economy to sustain and grow jobs, strengthens the local tax base, and support commerce in Newport County.  When folks start to think local, there is a multiplying effect – not only does the consumer purchase local products and services, but the overall business community benefits from the vibrancy of the region’s economy.”

Mayor of Newport, Jeanne-Marie Napolitano stated “It’s a great time to shop local.  It supports your neighbors and local businesses while enhancing a shopper’s experience, no long lines, just special attention to your needs.   Everyone in the family can find “that” something special.  We are truly blessed with a variety of small shops, at a price range to fit everyone’s budget.    When all is said and done, visit one of our many fine restaurants to treat yourself.”

“Newport is the perfect place to check off our Christmas lists,” said President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D – Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown). “We are fortunate to have an abundance of unique local shops here, so we can find that special holiday gift while also doing our part to strengthen the local economy. When we shop locally, we are also supporting local jobs and the local merchants who help shape the character of our community.”

“Small business is the backbone of the Rhode Island economy” said Mark S. Hayward, Rhode Island SBA District Director.  “It is critically important for all of us to support our small business community on small business Saturday, Shop Small / Dine Small,” Hayward added.

Robert Catanzaro, President of Independent Bank shared “Independence Bank is proud to sponsor $1,000 towards the Newport Chamber of Commerce “The Chamber Sent Me” program. The Chamber Sent Me provides select members a $10 gift certificate that can be utilized towards member retail businesses in the Newport area. Unlike other promotions, the retail business does not have to provide a discount to make the sale. For every dollar sponsored towards The Chamber Sent Me, on average an additional two dollars is spent in the retail business. We encourage other members to consider a sponsorship in this important program. This is truly “Business Helping Business,” and we are proud to be working with Erin Donovan-Boyle and the Newport Chamber staff during this holiday season.”

“The shops at Music Box and Helly Hansen wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season.  Have fun shopping and dining in Newport” Jay Lasky

As the Holiday Season kicks off, the Chamber and local merchants would like to remind residents that THINKing LOCAL is not just about shopping this holiday season but rather a mindset to support and invest in all aspects of our local communities; to think, shop and BE local.

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