Customers spend $100,000 to support Isle of Wight small businesses

Pearl's Boutique.JPG
Posted at 6:46 AM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 07:07:23-05

ISLE OF WIGHT Co., Va.— Pearl's Boutique in Smithfield is gearing up for the season of giving.

Owner Holly Hobbs says she's working to make sure that the story is fully stocked and ready to go for Black Friday.

A brand-new program in Isle of Wight County is encouraging customers to shop locally to help small business owners like Hobbs as the holiday season kicks off.

“There was a lot of buzz about it during the last several days,” said Hobbs.

The buzz was all about the #IsleShopSmall Gift Certificate Program.

“There was a line down the street over by tourism, and we had people calling us that had questions about where exactly to go online, so everybody in the community was excited,” she explained.

The program allowed customers to purchase gift certificates to local businesses, and each certificate bought was matched, dollar for dollar, thanks to $100,000 in CARES Act funding.

That means a $40 gift certificate at the flower shop Fleur de Fou is actually worth $80.

The customer gets to double their dollar, and all the money goes directly to the business.

“It is going to help shoppers give them a boost of extra money that they weren’t expecting,” said Hobbs.

The program was so popular that all the gift certificates sold out the first day.

All in all, the program put $200,000 back into the local community and supported nearly 100 business that participated.

Every dollar matters - especially during a pandemic - so the overwhelming commitment to shop small will surely have a big impact this year.

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