SHOPS work to make it through pandemic; new board officers elected

Front row pictured from left to right are Jessica Lafoon, Brent Morris, and Jordan Klein. Back pictured from left to right are Kevin Blackwell, Bria Lundy, Gavin Honeycutt, Robert Smith, and Shep Moss. 

The SHOPS of South Hill Committee has teamed up with the South Hill Chamber of Commerce throughout the pandemic to form a partnership dedicated to bringing revenue back into our local small businesses. 

The “Our Door to Yours” promotion during Governor Northam’s statewide “non essential” businesses shutdown was the first of many ideas. The program was based on a delivery system in which local volunteers would make at home deliveries from a local business directly to the customer. “If we hadn’t started this delivery program, I don’t think that a lot of us would have survived until the gift card program,” said Memory Makers owner, Shep Moss. 

The “Gift Card Match” program was established by “Chambers In Action” which includes the South Hill, Chase City, and Clarksville Chambers along with Mecklenburg Tourism,to build an online shop where Gift Certificates to local businesses are sold. The program is open to all locally owned, for-profit, non-franchise, retail, restaurant and service-based businesses located in Mecklenburg County. That means that for each $20 purchase, the customer receives a $40 gift certificate to be redeemed when the customer chooses. The business receives that $40 at the time of purchase. So far the program has returned a total of $244,000 back to local businesses within the county and with two successful runs under their belt, the Chambers will kick off their third round on November 17. 

The SHOPS are kicking off there own fourth quarter promotion this week with a holiday themed crossword hunt. “All 55 businesses in the SHOPS received a handmade Welcome Board made by Sass & Sawdust, with a different word or phrase. Those words are part of three different crossword puzzles and customers are encouraged to visit all the businesses, find their board/word, complete the puzzle, and enter to win prizes. The total of all prizes and gift certificates is over $8000. The promotion runs from October 15 to November 15 and the drawing will take place immediately after the end date. Puzzles can be picked up at any SHOPS of South Hill business or at the Chamber of Commerce,” explained Sass & Sawdust owner, Jordan Klein. There are three different puzzles that can be completed making it three chances to win the numerous prizes donated by the Shops. 

The organization has also taken on two new interns from Park View High School to assist it’s members with marketing and social media establishment and posting. At the end of their internship Enijah Clark and Mark Arrington will receive a $1000 scholarship from the SHOPS. 

The new board members for this year include President, Robert Smith, Vice President, Kevin Blackwell, Secretary, Lorrie Beth Thomas, Treasurer, Bria Lundy, Promotions Director, Jordan Klein, along with Shep Moss and Gavin Honeycutt. Assistant Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Jessica Lafoon, will serve as a liaison between the Chamber and the SHOPS and Business Development Manager and Chamber President, Brent Morris, will be working closely with the group as well. 

Over the next month the SHOPS will be partnering with the Chamber for Spooktober Fest over Halloween weekend and promoting Holiday Shopping Weekend on November 7 and 8, which is participated in by many local stores and merchants. They will team up with the Chamber again in December for the annual Hometown Christmas weekend featuring the usual skating rink, parade, and Christmas themed activities along with many more surprises to be announced.