By Chanel Snapp, Correspondent
Shopping at local shops and small businesses is important. In supporting local businesses, you are investing in your own neighborhood and community. Historically, an estimated two-thirds of net new jobs in this country are created by small business. Local shops offer a variety of services that fit the needs of their community and contribute to the overall success. Recognizing this importance, the Belton and Temple Chambers of Commerce joined together for yet another amazing gathering to support shopping locally. The Bell County Exposition Center hosted Holiday Around Town – Business After Hours for the fourth year in a row. This joyous gathering was held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16.
“Shop small, shop local. If there is a resource for here why not shop here first; everywhere I look I see happy faces,” explained event organizer Michele Moore. “This gives an opportunity for them to get their business out!”
Holiday Around Town contributes to many businesses being able to socialize with other organizations to promote business.
“We work really well together,” Moore said commenting on how Belton and Temple joined forces.
“I think it’s a very exciting year. I think they have higher numbers and people are very enthusiastic. I think it’s excellent that Temple and Belton Chambers work together, it makes us all stronger,” said Sheila Weaver, studio manager at That Art Place.
This year hosted 52 vendors from the Belton and Temple area. As an incentive for citizens in the community to come out and support the event, vendors offered door prizes over $50 at each booth. Along with all of the fascinating booths, the Belton and Temple Chamber of Commerce provided food and drinks to enjoy as you strolled around. This year there were three sponsors: CHANNEL 6 News, KCEN-TV, and H.E.B.’s Camo Santa toy drive. H.E.B. Camo Santa is a toy drive that focuses on the children of the men and women of Fort Hood.
“I wanted to do something for the kids on Fort Hood… What it does is make sure every kid on Fort Hood has a present,” explained Mike Stanford from KCEN-TV, in regards to the vision of Camo Santa.
Overall, the event was a success for both newcomers and returning businesses. “It’s my first time… so many people– so many great businesses we have locally,” commented Michelle Ceniceros with LuLaRo.
Events such as this allow local businesses to connect and network while promoting shopping locally and growing the community and Holiday Around Town: Business After Hours did just that. Vendors and guests are excited for next year’s event!