Mayor Monte Montgomery signed a proclamation Monday night announcing November as Shop Small Business month.

Instead of Shop Small Saturday, the local business networks created a month long shopping extravaganza, “Shop-Vember,” in conjunction with the Athens Economic Development Corporation and the city of Athens.

“The City of Athens has created an interactive Google map of local businesses for shoppers to explore. You can access the map by scanning a QR code and then plotting out the perfect holiday shopping spree,” stated Traci Wilkes of the East Texas Business Alliance.

Some businesses will offer discounts and incentives during the month and businesses without a storefront may have items displayed inside local boutiques and businesses as well. This is a prime opportunity to get a jump on holiday shopping while supporting local businesses still recovering from the pandemic.

There will be laminated copies located at local hotels and businesses making it easy for visitors and locals to find the unique places we offer. Downtown is growing and experiencing a revival in both Athens and Malakoff, making for a fun day of new places to explore.

Shopping local and small is a great way to invest your holiday dollars, because local businesses are more likely to invest back into the community themselves. They provide employment to local people and feature unique items in many cases larger stores typically do not.

“It is very important for people to shop local so that local jobs are created and money stays in our local economy. Our entire community benefits from that,” said Joanie Ahlers, Economic Development Director AEDC.

The program seeks to expand yearly with more customization and incentives available.

Stop by the Athens Economic Development Commission and pick up your card to start scanning.

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