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Locals are encouraged to support area businesses with online shopping

While area business’ storefronts are closed in compliance with Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders, many are still operating virtually.

To support buying local during self-quarantine efforts, the cities of Easton and Bethlehem have launched initiatives which aim to encourage cyber-shopping.

The Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce launched the #SupportLocalMerchants initiative, which challenges locals to order at least one thing online from a local merchant.

“We cannot say enough how important it is to support local retailers through this outbreak,” said Angela DelGrosso, vice president of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce. “If they do not survive the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, we will feel the ripple effect for years.”

DelGrosso noted national retailers have seen massive shopping surges as people stay home but local retailers aren’t seeing the same impacts.

In Easton, the Greater Easton Development Partnership has launched a new website, supporteaston.com, which allows customers to scroll through one site and find exactly what they are looking for by category, like restaurants and businesses offering curbside pick-up, delivery,  and online retail or gift cards.

Kim Kmetz, manager of the Easton Main Street Initiative, says this time has forced retail business owners to find creative solutions to serving customers.

“So many business owners are telling me they miss the face-to-face interaction with their customers so they’re launching online workshops, livestreams and storytimes,” Kmetz said. “We are seeing so much innovation from our community and wanted to highlight that too.”

Dawn Ouellette Nixon
Dawn Ouellette Nixon is a career journalist who believes that good journalism can change the world. As the health care reporter, she covers everything from small town medicine to big pharma. You can also find her chasing a good business story in Berks County. She can be reached at dnixon@bridgetowermedia.com. or 610-807-9619, extension 4118.

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