SEVIER COUNTY, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – De Queen/Sevier Co. Chamber of Commerce and economic development officials are bringing local businesses together with community members to collaborate on how to make sure folks shop local this holiday season. It’s something that’s as important this year as it’s ever been, because of COVID-19.
Just ahead of the holiday rush, Sevier Co. officials are providing local business owners with resources to draw in customers in what’s been a difficult year amid the pandemic. “In a small town, you have to focus on what you do have, not what you don’t. So, instead of thinking about all the lists of ‘Man, I wish we could get this’ or ‘We don’t have that,’ it’s about what Sevier County’s already got to offer,” said De Queen/Sevier Co. Chamber of Commerce President Murriel Wiley.
Wiley, along with the Tiffany Maurer, the county’s new Economic Development Director, released tips for business owners this week. Many are cautiously eyeing the holiday shopping season. Some stores are changing the way they do business. “A lot of them are offering curbside pickup or contactless shopping options,” said Maurer.
A panel discussion on Facebook Live is set for Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. on the Sevier County Economic Development Facebook page. The event aims to bring shop owners and customers together to discuss holiday shopping needs. “Just kindof talking about about what their experiences are like, what their shopping habits are like, and what they’re wanting out of the holiday shopping experience, and what our businesses owners can do to make that more enjoyable for everybody,” Maurer said.
Chamber officials said they’ll also seize that opportunity to spotlight some unique local businesses. Wiley said, “We have the knife-making community. You can go to the knife-making shop at Riverside Machine and get a special one-of-a-kind unique knife made, or Jim’s Boot shop in Lockesburg. You can get a special nowhere-else-in-the-world belt buckle, leather boots, purses.”
Officials hope the discussion will impress upon everyone the vital importance of local businesses, and what it will take to keep them afloat under the cloud of COVID-19.