PORTLAND, Ore. — Thanksgiving is here, and that means the holiday shopping season is kicking off too.
Local business owners are hoping that Portland shoppers will keep them in mind this year, and one campaign is providing incentives for people to shop local. It’s called the “Shop Small Win Big” campaign, and organizer Sarah Shaoul said about 100 small businesses are participating.
One participating businesses is the Cargo Emporium in Southeast Portland. The shelves are lined with a unique mix of stuff, including both locally made items and products from around the world.
“We've got 12 different independent businesses all located here,” said Cargo's Bridgid Blackburn.
Blackburn said the Shop Small Win Big campaign is an opportunity for shoppers to come out, buy local and get all kinds of prizes and incentives while they do it.
Through Dec. 11, when people shop at – or even just visit – a participating store, they'll be entered into a raffle with more than 100 prizes.
“We have an incredible list of prizes that include vacation stays, concert tickets, performing arts tickets, dining experiences,” Shaoul said.
The foot traffic is much-needed after a tough couple years in which local businesses have had to deal with fallout from the pandemic, protests and other challenges in the city.
Joe Dixon at Wellspent Market in Northeast Portland said community is at the heart of the campaign.
“It gets everyone in the community sort of joining together in one big loud voice to support each other,” he said.
For Dixon and many others, the campaign is also an opportunity for local businesses to support each other across industries, from gift shops to restaurants.
Tom Burkleaux at New Deal Distillery in Southeast Portland said he also hopes the campaign inspires people to shop local.
“It reminds people that all these great local makers like ourselves are still here, and it's way better than going to Amazon,” he said.
He said New Deal Distillery makes its whiskies from scratch and they can’t be found on websites like Amazon. That’s also the case for other artisans who choose to sell their products locally.
“It’s never been more important that we make these choices about where we spend our money,” said Shaoul.
More information on how to get and track raffle ticket entries can be found on the Shop Small Win Big website. One easy way to track is through the Kuto app, which is the same app that the City of Portland is using to distribute free small business gift cards during the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square Friday.