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Shop Local Festival first of two Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce virtual festivals

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online
MOUNT IDA – Shopping local and shopping online are coming together by way of a pair of online festivals made possible by the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce. The two events will be held November 28 and December 11-12.
COVID-19 has forced many small businesses to rethink the way they reach potential customers. It has been no secret that response to the virus has interrupted the festival season and as a result many artisans and small business owners have been left struggling to find a way to sell their product.
The Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that they will host two online festival events that will provide vendors with an opportunity to reach even more customers by way of online festivals.
Online festivals are easy to join and simple to operate. Vendors purchase booth space known as tiles. Each tile appears a little larger than a thumbnail on the screen and allows the vendor to display up to five photos to help draw potential customers to their virtual booth.
Once a customer makes their way to a booth the vendor can chat with potential buyers if they choose. Vendors can also provide a link to their website if they have one. One of the biggest differences between the virtual festival and an actual festival is that you don’t have to man your booth.
The first festival will coincide with Small Business Saturday scheduled for November 28. The annual nationwide event turns the consumer’s focus on local businesses as they scurry about purchasing Christmas gifts.
The Small Business Saturday online event is only open to Montgomery County businesses to focus the attention on local businesses. The Chamber is working to be able to receive applications for the first event soon.
The second event, the Three Rivers Online Festival will be held December 11 and 12.  Unlike the Small Business Saturday event, which is only open to Montgomery County businesses, the Three Rivers Online Festival will be open to anyone wanting to promote their business or product..
Any Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce member business will receive a discount on their “Tile” for each event.  Any Chamber member business wishing to participate in both events would receive a total of $30 off the non-member rate. The equivalent of getting the Small Business Saturday event for free.
Both events are open to the public as attendees for free. 
Chamber Director Gail Pitts-Holloway stated. “The Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce has been looking for ways to help all businesses, especially those struggling from the overall  effects of COVID-19 on our economy.  We feel that this is a safe and easy means for businesses to promote their business or product.  It’s a great way to gain exposure for your business and reach a larger audience during this time of restrictions and social distancing.”
For more information regarding either festival please contact the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce by phone at (870) 867-2723, or by email at director@mtidachamber.com

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