Several different campaigns and initiatives are underway in Lodi to promote the idea of shopping local for the holiday season and beyond, and continued support of small and local businesses.

Carla Weissing, of Willow Tree Wellness and Kingfisher Yoga, is one of the organizers who began the Lights on Lodi initiative, one of the ways geared toward bringing people to shop at Lodi stores. The initiative has several local businesses extending their hours, and sometimes including weekend hours, during the holiday season for more shopping opportunities.

Businesses involved in the Lights on Lodi initiative include Lodi Alpacas Uptown, A New Home, Three Bats in the Belfry, Nancy’s Floral & Gifts, Sunfall on Main, Kingfisher Yoga, Sakom Massage & Wellness, Myofascial Massage, Reiki, Spring Creek Antiques, The County Line Barn, La Grotta, Main Street Market Piggly Wiggly and more. All businesses are dedicated to staying open until at least 7 p.m. on Fridays and 4 p.m. on Saturdays, with most even offering Sunday hours.

Chamber helps promote local shopping for holidays

The Lodi and Lake Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce started its “Shop Local for the Holidays” campaign. According to Executive Director of the Chamber Kristi McMorris, there is an emphasis on the first weekend in December for the campaign, a weekend that kicks off the holiday shopping season.

“Our goal is to drive business and awareness to our community for not only the holiday season but year round,” McMorris said. “This is just a great opportunity to utilize all of the special offers given the holiday season. Now more than ever we need our community to commit to shopping local, supporting local, and living local. We are trying our best to offer many safe ways to accomplish this.”

The chamber created a Facebook page for the event, which starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 and runs until Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. Various stores and shops in and around the Lodi and Lake Wisconsin areas will have specific deals throughout the weekend, in addition to the extended hours.

The chamber is also running a campaign called “12 Days of Local Christmas.” The campaign begins on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and runs for 12 consecutive days.

“The idea is to give consumers and the community 12 reasons and ways to shop local,” McMorris said. “We will have a new post (on Facebook) every day for 12 days.”

The 12 ways to shop local, with each day accompanied by a reason, thought up by the chamber are:

First Day of Christmas — Buy a gift card from a local business: Shop Local to discover interesting things and people. One-of-a-kind shops and restaurants are part of what makes our community a great place to live.

Second Day — Leave a positive Google review of a local business: Shop Local to support nonprofits. Local business owners provide significant support for nonprofits.

Third Day — Share a social media post of a local business: Shop Local to reduce environmental impact. By shopping locally, you’re contributing to less pollution, traffic congestion, habitat loss and resource depletion.

Fourth Day — Reward yourself with a holiday treat from our local bakery for shoveling the driveway yet again: Shop Local for personal connection. Getting to know the store owners and employees is a great reason to shop locally.

Fifth Day — Shop the e-commerce site of a local business: Shop Local to make a personal investment in your neighborhood and the community.

Sixth Day — Send a handwritten thank you note to a local business who has supported a community group, team or cause close to your heart: Shop Local to support future growth. Shopping locally is the best way to show pride in your community and help protect the businesses.

Seventh Day — Tag a friend in a local business’ post if you see something they might like: Shop Local to keep money local. Local businesses are more likely to shop with other local businesses, keeping money in their local economy longer.

Eighth Day — Follow or “Like” a local business on social media: Shop Local because local businesses invest in the community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in its community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future.

Ninth Day — Buy stocking stuffers from local artisans: Shop Local because competition and diversity leads to more consumer choices.

Tenth Day — Leave a positive personal review on a local business’ Facebook page: Shop Local to get locally made products. When you shop at a local business, you’re likely getting something that’s unique and exclusive.

Eleventh Day — Share, through word of mouth or social media, some of your favorite local businesses: Shop Local because of personalized service.

Twelfth Day — Enjoy some take-out from a local restaurant to reward yourself for wrapping all those presents: Shop Local because small businesses support creativity. Oftentimes small businesses and boutiques sell and display art from local artists.

Also, the chamber will begin a Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt in December, with area homes and businesses included.

The chamber is providing a place in downtown Lodi for children to drop off their letters to Santa, which will be stationed at the Lodi Police Department.

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