December 9, 2011


Chamber promotes buy local campaign

ChamberBob Ellis/staff photographer
People stroll along Main Street Thursday evening in front of Mando Books.

Staff Reporter

The Cortland County Chamber of Commerce is urging residents to do their holiday shopping at local retailers.
At the same time, one local businessman is holding a holiday open house this weekend to showcase some of the area’s smaller businesses.
The Andrews Agency is hosting at least 13 vendors on the top floor of the agency, located at 35 Main St.
Rich Andrews, the owner of the independent insurance agency, bought the building two years ago and renovated it. The open house will allow business that might not have a storefront a chance to show off their goods, he said.
“This time of year people are looking for alternatives to shopping at a mall,” he said. “We want to make sure small vendors have a way to market goods.”
The open house will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Some of the retailers at the event will include 31 Bags, Touchstone Crystal Jewelry, Maria’s Baklava, Pampered Chef and Party Lite.
The agency reached out to the chamber and found out its open house dovetailed with the chamber’s goals, Andrews said.
“The chamber has been great promoting this event through word of mouth and connecting us with people who want to be a part of it,” he said.
Bob Haight, the chamber’s director, pointed out that every dollar spent at a local small business helps the community as a whole.
“That’s another dollar in their pocket that they can then go and spend here, rather than it going to a large corporation,” he said. “Every dollar is magnified when it’s spent locally.”
The chamber also is offering suggestions on where to shop for people who are hard to buy for. Anyone who calls the chamber’s office at 607-756-2814 can get advice.
“We’re here to help,” Haight said. “That’s our job, we get questions all the time on where to go and we’re more than happy to point you in the right direction.”
Debbie Thayer, the director of member services, said the response from the community has been mild so far, but that the chamber plans on continuing the push in the future.
“We have the knowledge to help,” she said. “We’re going to keep working with the community and connect them to our members.”


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