As the weather dips into cooler temperatures and the holiday season approaches, the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce is encouraging residents to consider shopping local for their holiday gifts.
“Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Denver have been great about supporting small, mom-and-pop retail stores throughout the pandemic, but we definitely need to continue that. We want these businesses to stay open, and we can support them this holiday season,” said Leslie Lewis, executive director of the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce.
With about 120 locally owned retail shops, Manitou Springs provides a unique shopping experience set in a small mountain town with a distinct holiday feel.
“When you spend money with a local retailer, for every $100 that is spent, about $70 stays in the local community,” Lewis said.
That’s because local business owners reinvest their money by paying taxes, sponsoring events and even shopping locally themselves in the community.
“Small retailers are supporting our children and our grandchildren. When school districts have fundraisers, they turn to individuals and businesses in the community,” Lewis said. “It’s the local businesses that give back to our community.”
Additionally, local Manitou Springs stores give shoppers the chance to find one-of-a-kind gifts that cannot be found at big-box retailers.
“You get much more of a uniqueness,” Lewis said.
The call to support local businesses doesn’t just apply to retail. Lewis encourages residents with family visiting from out of town to consider booking a local hotel that can offer “more personalized services” than major hotel franchises, and to consider local restaurants for dining.
This year, many local retailers and restaurants alike have adapted to offering curbside service, and many stores have expanded their online presence amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Manitou Springs Creative District this year to launch Manitou Made at manitoumade.com, a website that features a multivendor marketplace of products unique to Manitou Springs. Lewis encouraged shoppers to look to Manitou Made for gifts.
This holiday season, the chamber is continuing to offer its annual program that offers a voucher for 40 percent off a Monarch Mountain lift ticket to shoppers who spend $75 or more with local Manitou businesses, Lewis said.
Additionally, the chamber continues to offer Manitou Money, which acts as a local currency that shoppers can spend with locally owned businesses instead of gift cards to big-box retailers.
For those who want to shop for the holidays while social distancing, Manitou Springs downtown offers opportunities for outdoor distancing while shopping safely indoors.
Lewis encouraged those who want an even more tailored experience to reach out directly to local businesses.
“Many of our shops, if you contact them, will make special arrangements for after-hours shopping for you if you prefer that,” she said. “When you work with smaller shops, you receive more personalized service. If you express your concerns to our smaller businesses, they will make accommodations for you.”
“Manitou is a relaxed, step back in time where people can stay distant from each other while enjoying their holiday shopping.”
Visit manitousprings.org/shop-small for more information about shopping locally in Manitou Springs.
— This branded content advertisement was paid for by the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce.