Thursday will begin a new initiative to entice people to visit and shop in downtown Elkin, the Love Your Locals campaign. The month-long event is a way to focus on local businesses, and includes an effort to support those in need in the community.
The Main Street Advisory Board, with Explore Elkin and Cavu Marketing as sponsors, is the host of the interactive Love Your Locals initiative, appropriately named since February is the month of love and Valentine’s Day.
“The goal is to focus on our downtown retail businesses. After the holidays for some is a struggle,” Russell said. “So many people talk about there is nothing to do in Elkin. The goal is to let them know there is stuff going on, and shopping local is important to building a strong business climate.”
Beginning Feb. 1, each day a Love Your Locals banner will be in a different downtown storefront window, said Brittany Russell of Cavu Marketing, spokesperson of the Main Street Advisory Board and chair of the marketing committee for Explore Elkin.
Explore Elkin has provided $100 in Love Bucks, which will be used as prizes throughout the month for the banner activity. Visitors to downtown are encouraged to take a picture of the sign and post it on social media tagging themselves at the location of the banner and including three hashtags in the post, #exploreelkin #msab #loveyourlocals.
Hints on where to find the banner will be shared on the Facebook page, Elkin Rock Facade & Main Street Advisory Board. Then winners of various amounts of Love Bucks to be used downtown will be announced each Friday throughout the month on the Facebook page, Russell said.
Another piece of the initiative will be a canned food drive Feb. 5-10 to benefit area food pantries, she said. Some of the downtown locations are providing discounts and benefits for people bringing in can donations, while others are simply serving as drop-off locations.
Discounts are being offered at Harry’s Place, six cans gets a free dessert; Dirty Joe’s, two or more cans get a free brewed coffee; Fiddles Pub, three cans gets 10 percent off; Cavu Marketing, six cans gets $10 off business cards; Amanda’s Salon, $1 off per can donation up to $10 off on coloring service. Drop-off locations include The Tribune and the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Another highlight during Love Your Locals will be celebration of National Entrepreneur Week, Feb. 18-24, Russell said. The Main Street Advisory Board will be interviewing downtown entrepreneurs and posting them on the Elkin Rock Facade & Main Street Advisory Board Facebook page throughout the week.
Anyone who would like to nominate a downtown business owner to be interviewed can do so by messaging the Facebook page with the nominee’s name, Russell said.
Russell also encouraged people to visit the Explore Elkin website, exploreelkin.com, or Facebook page, and sign up for the weekly newsletter to keep up with what’s going on in Elkin.
Downtown locations highlighted for shopping include Downtown Cyclery, The November Room, Wanderlust Studio, Dave’s Antiques, Kennedy Auto, The Tribune, Jennifer K Photography, Kupner Extreme Fitness, Yadkin Valley Quilts, The Candle Place, Ace Music & Pawn, Elkin Sign Shop, Midtown Barber, Diana’s Books and More, Ivy Ridge Traditions, The Sample Store, Van Hoy Jewelers, Yoga on Main, Habitat ReStore, Comb’s Butcher Shop, Elkin Antiques & Collectibles Mall, Shear Creations, Amanda’s Hair Studio and Artfolk Studios Art Gallery.
For sweets, there is Barking Coyote, Blue Ridge Chocolates, Dirty Joe’s Coffee Shop, Roxxi and Lulu’s, The November Room and Yadkin Valley General Store. Also, date night locations include Harry’s Place, Reeves Theater, Souther on Main, Roxxi and Lulu’s, Fiddles Pub, Angry Troll Brewing, Maggy’s Place, Vestal Auctions and Yadkin Valley Quilts.
“Each dollar you spend at an independent business returns an average of three times more money to your community than spending at a chain … a benefit we can all bank on,” says the Love Your Locals flyer created to promote the February initiative.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.