SHERIDAN – As the holiday season officially draws to a close, many local businesses are reporting a record or near-record holiday shopping year, according to officials from the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.
The energy and enthusiasm for local shopping was palpable, said Chamber CEO Dixie Johnson. The House, business owners and private citizens have encouraged residents of Sheridan to shop locally for the holiday season.
“We really tried to have an inventory for our premises [over the holidays]Said Cheryl Sinclair, owner of Foot of the Bighorns shoe store on Main Street.
The season started as always in Sheridan, with the House Christmas Walk on November 26th. Stroll’s new hybrid structure – in which shoppers took advantage of all-day deals at local stores and late-night festivities on Main Street – drew huge crowds, said Chamber Marketing and Director of Communications Jodi Hartley.
“People were thrilled to be outside,” Hartley said.
The House’s “Get Caught Shopping” campaign also encouraged people to shop locally for the holidays. The Stroll buttons – the mechanism by which individuals were “nabbed” by the House’s “secret elves” – sold out on Stroll’s morning, which Johnson said was the fastest selling time in at least a year. decade. Between the Christmas walk and Dec. 18, Johnson said, the House distributed $ 5,000 in House dollars or gift certificates to participating House businesses.
The Chamber Bucks also provide a boost to local businesses, as dollars are always reinvested in the local economy, Hartley said. Recently, Johnson explained, Chamber Bucks have been used for purposes as diverse as giveaways, holiday bonuses, and a creative way to keep gifts surprising for a partner with a shared credit card.
The House has seen an increase in demand for dollars every year since the inception of the program, Johnson said. The House first issued $ 2,700 in room dollars in 1993. Twenty-five years later, the House for the first time exceeded $ 100,000 in dollars issued in 2018 and, after a wave of support from residents de Sheridan amid the COVID-19 pandemic, topped $ 223,000 in 2020. The House will announce the grand total for 2021 during its chamber breakfast on January 12.
The economic benefits of local holiday shopping extend far beyond the Christmas stroll or the holiday season, Johnson said.
Stroll has been a huge success this year, said Kim Franzman, co-owner of Kid Curious, but the support has extended far beyond a one-day event. Local shoppers donated their business to Kid Curious throughout the holiday season.
“Sheridan blew us away,” Franzman said.
The holiday shopping benefit also helps local businesses survive and thrive in the spring and fall, before and after peak tourist season, Johnson said. Combined with Sheridan Travel and Tourism’s efforts to attract tourists to Sheridan year-round, Johnson said she hopes vacation sales will ensure business owners can be optimistic – rather than concerned – about how which their business will be doing during the off-season.
Finally, Johnson said, local buying contributes far more than Sheridan’s business sector; sales taxes on local purchases maintain the strength of government entities, nonprofits and public services in Sheridan.
“It’s bigger than the prosperity of the company[ing]Johnson said.