United Way and BRIDGE Local inspiring shoppers to shop small for a good cause

BRIDGE Local is partnering with United Way of Central Florida to encourage shoppers to visit small businesses throughout December.

Local businesses can sign the pledge to shop small and commit to give back this holiday season to be featured during our shop small campaign from November 30 to January 4. Customers who visit these stores will have the chance to enter a contest to win some fun, local prizes.

Small businesses are rooted in the community and community involvement can be a valuable tool for recruitment and retention. By choosing to support United Way of Central Florida, owners can build their business and reputation by becoming part of a larger movement.

Businesses that are not already BRIDGE Local members can take part in the promotion with a $365 or more annual gift to UWCF and instantly become a BRIDGE Local member. By choosing to become a United Way of Central Florida Small Business United Partner and amortizing your gift over 12 months, it is simple and affordable for your business to assume a place of leadership in our community. In turn, you will be recognized as an Individual Leadership Donor and as a United Way of Central Florida Small Business Partner.

Businesses that take the pledge and donate to UWCF will receive varying levels of exposure on the Shop Small Polk website and BRIDGE and UWCF social channels, as well as opportunities to share that they’ve taken the pledge and are a part of this campaign.

Customers that sign the “Shop Small” pledge will automatically be entered to win daily prizes from local businesses whenever they sign the pledge. We’ll be giving out prizes through January 4. Customers can earn extra chances to win by explaining why shopping small is important to them and also getting their friends to enter, too.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our community, and we’re so thrilled to be able to build new relationships with these businesses and support them in their philanthropic endeavors on Shop Small Saturday and beyond,” said Christina Criser Jackson, President and CEO of UWCF.

Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support the small, independently-owned businesses that help boost local economies across the country.

Small Business Saturday serves as the ceremonial kickoff of the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the United States. According to the American Express 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday. The day has also been championed by elected officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“Local businesses are already giving back in so many ways. I am excited about this new partnership with United Way, because it will provide an opportunity for their story to be told alongside the great work that United Way does to provide resources and help to the underserved citizens in our community,” says BRIDGE Local co-founder Chrissanne Long, who is working to promote this year’s Small Business Saturday in Polk County.

Polk merchants and consumers can learn more about local activities for Small Business Saturday and a list of the participating merchants by visiting ShopSmallpolk.com.