Bath Businesses And Officials Encourage Local Shopping

Warm Springs, VA – If you’re a late Christmas shopper, like so many others, you might be interested in a Bath County campaign to encourage shoppers to buy in the county, rather than taking their business to big box stores in Covington and Staunton.

The Bath County Chamber of Commerce launched an effort to encourage local residents to explore their locally-owned shops. Businesses are offering discounts, door prizes and other incentives to get people into their shops.

Bath County Chamber executive director Melinda Nichols describes the campaign.

The campaign, mainly is just to get people to shop locally and spend their money here and get them into the stores,” she said. “A lot of people don’t frequent the shops in town a lot, and this is just a chance for them to come in and see what they have and see that there are some really unique and nice gifts, that are available.”

Nichols discusses some of the incentives.

“A lot of the shops are doing specials all the way through the holiday season, anywhere form 10-percent off to running specials, to door prizes and drawings and things like that,” she said. “So, you just don’t know what you’re going to find when you go through a door.”

Nichols says shopping local is important for the community.

“It’s very important to shop locally because you’ve got to support the people in the area, to keep the businesses here, to keep jobs here,” she said. “I think it’s up to us to support each other and to support the area that we’re from.”

Bath County Tourism Director Maggie Anderson agrees.

“For any community to be successful and survive, the local businesses have to survive to thrive,” she said. “So, we always encourage folks to shop local and stay local. If you’re going to dine, dine locally. If you’re going to buy a Christmas gift, buy it locally. It’s very important for your business community and the overall health of the economy within the business community and our residence.”

Anderson says county residents should shop local for their vacations, too.

“You know, there’s an expression called a stay-cation,” she said. “With this economy, a lot of folks are rediscovering the communities that they live in. people want to come and visit us – well, there’s a reason people want to come and visit us. Maybe, when you live here, you re-learn and re-find all the fun things that are here.”

Incoming Bath County Supervisor Claire Collins cites economic figures to highlight the importance of local shopping.

“For every dollar that you spend in the community, it’s turned over 30 times,” she said. “That is a statistic that is national. So, if you shop locally, the jobs stay in the community, the money remains in the community and everyone benefits in some way.”

Collins says you should consider your family and neighbors when deciding where to shop.

“If you’ve got a relative that’s working in a business and someone else goes in there and spends $20, well, then that ricochets to other businesses because that business has to spend money, and if they’re spending it locally, then it turns over and you keep creating jobs and creating the synergy for making sure that we are successful, economically.”

Incoming Bath County Supervisor Bruce McWilliams says the area needs more businesses.

“Right now, I don’t think we have enough places to shop,” he said. “So, we are kind of in this Catch-22. So, I really feel that the most important thing we can do is encourage businesses to shop from and support them when they get here. We have two jobs to do here: encourage businesses to be here and then support them, when they get here.”

To see a description of a wide variety of Bath County businesses, where you can finish up, or start, your holiday shopping, see the Bath County Chamber of Commerce website at

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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