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Shop local is a mantra you’re likely to hear more from a local chamber of commerce.

The Highland-Griffith Chamber of Commerce has launched a new “shop small” committee to promote shopping at local merchants year-round.

The committee aims to encourage people to shop small around the year through promotions, to recruit new members and to stage activities and events that will showcase the chamber to the local business community and the general public at large.

“The original purpose of the committee was to organize an event to celebrate Small Business Saturday,” Executive Director Lance Ryskamp said. “However, we have decided to greatly expand its scope and instead promote and celebrate Small Business Saturday every day.”

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The committee will create a sustained social media campaign to encourage people to shop local, work to bring sports tourism to Highland and Griffith and promote Small Business Saturday and Small Business Season during the holidays.

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It will help recruit a network of associate Highland Griffith Chamber members to help recruit new small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as to serve as a resource for current members.

SCORE Mentors/Northwest Indiana, Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center, NWI BizHub, Hammond Development Corp.n Innovation Hub of Valparaiso University and the Department of Managerial Studies at Purdue University Northwest have agreed to become associate members, Ryskamp said.

“I am so excited at the great response I have received from the associate members,” Ryskamp said. “I believe they all will serve as a great network of resources to our chamber members and small business owners who wish to join our organization. The bulk of our membership is businesses with one to five employees. I want our chamber to help local small businesses, which are the economic backbone of our communities, grow and thrive. I think this is a great next step in fulfilling that mission.”

For further information, call 219-923-3666 or email [email protected].

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