At a recent press briefing on Rhode Island’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Raimondo stressed the importance of supporting businesses by shopping local whenever possible. Putting that sentiment into action, Island Outfitters has launched Rally for Retail, a campaign that encourages community members to virtually “shop” at their favorite brick-and-mortar stores by purchasing gift cards. The goal is to keep as many retailers as possible in business and able to reopen their doors when the crisis comes under control.

“We’re hoping this helps small businesses and empowers them to get through this difficult time,” Greg Hall, owner of Island Outfitters stores and Holebrook USA. “Money stays in the community if you shop local,” Hall said. “The ripple effect of shopping local is not something people typically think about. When you shop at a local store, it pays employees who are then able to order food from local restaurants, get a haircut in town, etc.”

Rally for Retail currently includes shops from Newport, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Fairfield, CT. Right now, the team is focused on New England summer destinations, but they’re actively looking to expand the project to more regions throughout the country.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Scroll through the list on Rally for Retail’s website and find your favorite local retailer(s).
  2. Use the contact info provided to reach out and buy a gift card.
  3. Screenshot or take a picture of your gift card and post on any social media platform tagging @rallyforretail @islandoutfitters (and your own Instagram store if you have one!)
  4. Nominate a friend to encourage others to follow your lead!
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If you’re a small business retailer that would like to be part of the project, the Island Outfitters team encourages you to reach out. Email Sofie at info@rallyforretail.com or call 334-399-3077.

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