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SHOP LO this holiday season and year round

For many small businesses, the months of November and December can be critical to whether a small business turns a profit for the year.

In an effort to try and make sure that Lake Oswego businesses accomplish just that, the city of Lake Oswego, the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, local merchants and the Lake Oswego Review have all partnered together on a shop local campaign titled SHOP LO.

The campaign is geared to remind the local community of the many stores, restaurants and service providers that exist here in Lake Oswego.

“Local residents need to realize what great businesses exist in their own backyard and they need to support the businesses that support our community,” said Lake Oswego Review publisher J. Brian Monihan. “It’s easy to forget that local businesses pay local taxes, donate to numerous community events and auctions, employ our families and friends and help make Lake Oswego the special community that it is. Our local businesses need our support more than ever.”

Recent economic studies by the city of Lake Oswego show that many Lake Oswego residents leave the community to do their shopping.

“Retail market analysis indicates leakage of more than half a billion dollars of retail spending out of the Lake Oswego market area,” said Jane Blackstone, economic development manager for the city of Lake Oswego. “Capturing even a small portion of this spending would be extremely meaningful to local businesses and help make our commercial districts more vibrant.”

“It’s pretty simple — local businesses support local activities — sports teams, community events, fund raising initiatives, the arts, flower baskets — and much more,” said Carol Winston, one of the chairpersons of the chamber’s Lake Oswego Business Group and owner of Accessories from the Heart. “Shopping at businesses outside of Lake Oswego does not provide the same type of sustainable support to programs in our community.”

According to Monihan, the SHOP LO campaign began Nov. 1 and will run until Christmas. It includes weekly newspaper ads in the Lake Oswego Review, web ads on lakeoswegoreview.com, multiple email blasts, SHOP LO signage in participating store windows and on Lake Oswego newspaper racks.

In addition to reaching the Lake Oswego Review’s estimated 20,000 weekly readers, the campaign also includes three saturation mailings through the Lake Oswego Review on Nov. 1, Nov. 15 and Dec 6.

Monihan said that SHOP LO will be highlighted twice in the Review’s monthly LO section that is delivered to every household in Lake Oswego and most of Dunthorpe.

“And today’s issue of the Review has expanded distribution as well and is being delivered to every household in Lake Oswego.”

The city, the chamber and more than 40 local merchants are covering a little more than half the cost of this campaign. The Review is sponsoring the other half.

According to Monihan the overall value of campaign will exceed more than $20,000 when it is completed.

“This public-private partnership is a great example of how when everyone works together the entire community benefits,” he said.

Another goal of SHOP LO was to tie into American Express’ national Shop Small campaign that is focused on shopping small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“With so much national exposure to this event, it was a natural fit,” said Monihan. “But we wanted to expand the message. Why encourage people to shop local on just one day when we really need to people to think about shopping local all the time.”

“Shopping local is kind of like the old television program ‘Cheers,’” said Winston. “It’s where everybody knows your name, and we’re always glad you came!”