SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- "Shop Local, It Pays," exclaims brand strategist, Jeffrey R. Stein, and he means it, too. Mom and pop stores -- essentially all small businesses -- are feeling the big pinch right now as competition with the big-box retailers and the ever-growing internet heats up for the holiday season.

Sales continue to erode for local small business, and it has put downtown communities in a tailspin to survive. Events like "Shop Small on Small Business Saturday," created by American Express, are helpful to small business, no doubt.

"The competition is fierce, and it is taking away market share from local small business, continues Jeffrey R. Stein. These small businesses need to fight back, not only to survive, but to thrive, and that basically is the why and the how the "Shop Local, It Pays™" brand was born.

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Our local company, Incentives USA,™ saw this need, and has created an effective, and memorable, turn-key, marketing campaign that features ongoing promotions throughout the year using the "Shop Local, It Pays™" brand," he noted.

"Small businesses don't have the largest marketing budgets, and that is why, many cities and towns have launched "shop local" campaigns to help support, and market businesses in their community, said Lisa Mohn, President of the Scotch Plains Business & Professional Association, and local business owner of Apple Blossom Flower Shop. "We have great businesses here, we want to help our business community compete, and have a vibrant downtown."

The Shop Local, It Pays™ brand is being licensed and used by the Scotch Plains Business & Professional Association, and will be printed on the promotional shopping bags that they will be giving away -- in conjunction with the Township of Scotch Plains, and their "Small Business Saturday" community event -- in town this week. Supporting these neighboring businesses greatly helps the overall local community benefit in so many ways -- one being that it actually puts back money into the local economy.

"Additional Shop Local, It Pays™ ancillary activities will be implemented throughout the year as part of the continued campaign," Ms. Mohn added. This Saturday, the event takes place on the Allan Augustine Village Green in downtown Scotch Plains from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Enjoy free hot chocolate & cookies, and giveaway shopping bags, and more, and the opportunity to join local business owners, the Scotch Plains Town Council, and Township Staff - to help promote our local businesses. Stop by and say hello, and then shop and eat til your heart's desire.

#SHOP LOCAL, IT PAYS™ 

Licensing Opportunities for the Shop Local, It Pays™ brand are available for communities, companies, and organizations, Stein said. Please inquire at 908-322-6774.