‘Be Hopeful, Shop Local’ campaign kicks off next week

A campaign to help local shopping in Morristown has kicked off.

The “Be Hopeful, Shop Local” campaign has signs featuring “Rocky Raccoon” urging Lakeway Area citizens to shop Morristown-area businesses.

“Help make this a huge economic impact in our community by spending proudly in Hamblen County,” Rocky said in advertising on social media.

The event takes place the week of Aug. 17-21. The promotion is sponsored by the City of Morristown, Hamblen County and the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce. While shopping that week, the sponsors encourage the use of facemasks and to practice social distancing.

According to Chamber of Commerce General Manager Debra Williams, the campaign was the brainchild of Citizen Tribune Sales and Marketing Manager Mike Walker.

“What we want to do with this is even though we want people to be safe, we know that it’s very important that our local business be profitable, we want the economy to stay healthy. As long as our economy stays healthy, people will have jobs,” Williams said. “The, city county and chamber came together with the campaign to remind people that they need to shop their local businesses and support their fellow community members.”

The campaign is two-pronged, according to Williams.

“We have the signs with Rocky all the way through the campaign,” she said. “On Aug. 17, there is a big cutout character of Rocky and it will move around. Some of the stores will have boxes where people can register for prize giveaways.”

Trying to plan the campaign during a pandemic was no easy task.

“It was a little difficult in the planning, but you never know when it’s going to be safe to shop, now that people are getting back to work and going out, we just wanted to remind people that when they get back to their routines, support your local neighbors and friends,” Williams said.

County Mayor Bill Brittain is on board with the campaign.

“Hamblen County has come into partnership with the Chamber and the City to encourage our citizens to shop in Morristown to benefit the businesses and the jobs they create,” he said. “With COVID-19 and the impact it’s had on the economy and with increased unemployment, we just want to be sure to encourage our people to shop at home and support the businesses here. I agree with Debra. This is the time to do it. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before school starts and there will be some back to school shopping. We just think that this is the time to benefit the small businesses in town.”

Shopping during social distancing may require a little extra preparation, but will benefit all if precautions are taken.

“If we as a community take the steps to protect ourselves and others, we’ll flatten the curve. It’s a matter of us taking personal responsibility and doing what we can do,” Brittain said.

Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney said that the campaign carries a lot of merit.

“It’s so important for our community during this pandemic,” Chesney said. “We all still have shopping needs and that is important that we fill those needs locally. I think it’s an important program and I hope that it is well supported.”

BY WADE LITTLETON

Tribune Staff Writer

A campaign to help local shopping in Morristown has kicked off.

The “Be Hopeful, Shop Local” campaign has signs featuring “Rocky Raccoon” urging Lakeway Area citizens to shop Morristown-area businesses.

“Help make this a huge economic impact in our community by spending proudly in Hamblen County,” Rocky said in advertising on social media.

The event takes place the week of Aug. 17-21. The promotion is sponsored by the City of Morristown, Hamblen County and the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce. While shopping that week, the sponsors encourage the use of facemasks and to practice social distancing.

According to Chamber of Commerce General Manager Debra Williams, the campaign was the brainchild of Citizen Tribune Sales and Marketing Manager Mike Walker.

“What we want to do with this is even though we want people to be safe, we know that it’s very important that our local business be profitable, we want the economy to stay healthy. As long as our economy stays healthy, people will have jobs,” Williams said. “The, city county and chamber came together with the campaign to remind people that they need to shop their local businesses and support their fellow community members.”

The campaign is two-pronged, according to Williams.

“We have the signs with Rocky all the way through the campaign,” she said. “On Aug. 17, there is a big cutout character of Rocky and it will move around. Some of the stores will have boxes where people can register for prize giveaways.”

Trying to plan the campaign during a pandemic was no easy task.

“It was a little difficult in the planning, but you never know when it’s going to be safe to shop, now that people are getting back to work and going out, we just wanted to remind people that when they get back to their routines, support your local neighbors and friends,” Williams said.

County Mayor Bill Brittain is on board with the campaign.

“Hamblen County has come into partnership with the Chamber and the City to encourage our citizens to shop in Morristown to benefit the businesses and the jobs they create,” he said. “With COVID-19 and the impact it’s had on the economy and with increased unemployment, we just want to be sure to encourage our people to shop at home and support the businesses here. I agree with Debra. This is the time to do it. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before school starts and there will be some back to school shopping. We just think that this is the time to benefit the small businesses in town.”

Shopping during social distancing may require a little extra preparation, but will benefit all if precautions are taken.

“If we as a community take the steps to protect ourselves and others, we’ll flatten the curve. It’s a matter of us taking personal responsibility and doing what we can do,” Brittain said.

Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney said that the campaign carries a lot of merit.

“It’s so important for our community during this pandemic,” Chesney said. “We all still have shopping needs and that is important that we fill those needs locally. I think it’s an important program and I hope that it is well supported.”