Each year the Steamboat Springs Chamber has a Shop Local initiative to support the Yampa Valley. As the voice of the business community, the Chamber works to promote and support the many wonderful businesses that call Routt County home. The Shop Local program encourages residents and visitors to buy local and support the local economy by keeping dollars in our community.

Small business ownership is the heart of our economy. Think about the last time you walked into a local shop or restaurant. Was it a friendly high school student behind the counter or serving you? Are the handmade products you were looking at made by someone you’ve shared a ski lift with? Maybe your neighbor was behind the bar telling stories and sharing laughs.

Shopping local is making the decision to support all these people and more. Supporting your neighbors means providing them and their businesses the opportunity to thrive in our community, and in turn, support you.

This year our Shop Local Program includes a campaign called “Give the Gift of Steamboat.” This gift guide can be found on our website and is jam-packed with deals and specials from some of your favorite local businesses. If you’d like to be included, email kenzie@steamboatchamber.com.

If you have a special limited-time offer, be sure to submit that offer to our Member Specials page. Submissions can be made through your Chamber member portal.

Visit our online business directory to find Steamboat Springs Chamber member business information and get inspired to Shop Local. Tag #ShopLocalSteamboat when you’re out at some of your favorite stores or with some of your favorite local products and we’ll re-share!

Here are our favorite reasons to Shop Local this season:

1. Create local jobs

Small businesses account for 65% of new jobs created in the U.S. annually.

2. Keep dollars in our community

Did you know that for every $100 spent at local stores, $70 will be reinvested in our community? These dollars help fund schools, police and fire services, parks and recreation, and other local amenities.

3. Sustainability and eco-friendly

Shipping costs across the country create an estimated 1 billion metric tons of CO2 each year. Shop local, ship less.

4. Small businesses give back

Not only are they providing jobs and valuable goods and services, but 92% of small business owners personally donate to local nonprofits, charities and causes.

5. Community vibrancy

The diversity of our small businesses and restaurants helps make Steamboat Springs a vibrant place to live and visit.

6. Find unique gifts

Skip the mass-produced items and be rewarded with an array of unique and quality products for everyone on your list.

7. Celebrate the community

Spend the day appreciating what made you fall in love with our Valley in the first place. Enjoy being greeted by a warm smile, browse local shops, your favorite spots, catch up with friends and neighbors, enjoy a beverage at your favorite watering hole, reconnect and rediscover what makes Routt County thrive.

Supporting small businesses doesn’t always have to come from your wallet. Talk to your friends who own or work for small businesses to see how you can help. Like, share, comment, and engage with them on social media to boost their reach, volunteer at one of their events, or recommend them to other friends and visitors. However you choose to support local business this holiday season, you can be sure you’re making a difference for your friends and neighbors. And you’ll probably end up with unique gifts that bring a smile to someone special.

Angelica Salinas is the membership manager for the Steamboat Chamber. For more, SteamboatChamber.com.

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