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Supporting Local Businesses




LIZ GUNNBy Liz Gunn || I have a confession. I am a bonafide Amazon addict. They should feature me in a testimonial ad -I love it so much.

I am an Amazon Prime Member. I live-stream movies and music. I borrow books from the Kindle lending library. I participate in Subscribe and Save every month. I can’t say enough good things about Amazon.

What makes me feel bad about this addiction? I have always been a champion of spending money locally. I feel very strongly about supporting small businesses and restaurants that I love, because if I don’t – I fear they will go away. Plus, when you support small businesses it feels a little bit like supporting the American dream.

I love that my neighborhood has such a neat little shopping and dining district. There are a wide variety of merchants, from affordable gift shops to high end couture. As for where to dine, there is a little something for everyone; Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, burgers, pizza and more. There are plenty of bars and lounges to choose from, as well.

There are also salons, a gym, cycle studio, a bakery, law firms, children’s boutiques, an art gallery…the list goes on and on. I feel fortunate to have all of this within a stone’s throw of my home – but if we don’t support them every chance we get, they can’t survive. I’ve seen so many come and go over that last ten years, with the rise of on-line shopping.

Someone made a very good point the other day. When the non-profit board or PTA you serve on needs an item for a fundraiser or silent auction, who do you ask? Small, local businesses. I have always found that when you support them, they support you back! Just food for thought.

Tonight is a good opportunity for those of you in downtown Columbia to get out and do your part to support your friends and neighbors who keep these businesses up and running. “Devine Night Out” begins at 5 p.m. and boasts tons of specials and holiday cheer until 8 p.m. Most businesses will have food, entertainment and door prizes. Santa Clause will be making an appearance at Britton’s  – so you better be on your best behavior!

From 8-10 p.m. there will be a FREE after-party at Henry’s Restaurant  and Bar. They’ll have live music and complimentary food and beverages. If you live downtown, it’s unlikely that you won’t run into a friend or neighbor tonight. I’ll be there stimulating the local economy, and I hope you will be, too!


UPDATE: If you’re in the Lowcountry, check out King Street Holiday Shop & Stroll tomorrow night in downtown Charleston. In the Upstate, check out Greenville Downtown Holiday Happening, also beginning tonight, showcasing local retailers and restaurants. If you live near the Grand Strand, check out Rivertown Christmas tonight, as well as next Thursday night, in Conway, S.C. for Christmas carols, carriage rides and shopping.

LIZ GUNN is a wife, mom, travel enthusiast, food snob, daydreamer and lifelong Gamecock fan. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.
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