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Giving Back: Supporting Local Businesses in the Mid-Ohio Valley

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

November - the month that represents family, friendship and thankfulness. This month is about giving and being grateful for all the past year has brought.

To celebrate, Emily Sams, Marketing Specialist at Biztec, spent November visiting small businesses in the Mid-Ohio Valley (MOV) region to support local establishments and share what they have to offer.

“I spent the month of November calling on small businesses to be featured in our November social media campaign. We wanted to use our platform to draw attention to small businesses. It was a way to give back to our community. I asked questions and took pictures to get to know the people behind the business. It was such a positive experience.”

Sams visited several organizations in the area including Scots Marketplace, The Bakery and Coffeehouse, SW Resources, IncSwell and EmLeigh’s & Mama B’s Boutique.

Scots Marketplace is a market and greenhouse that sells unique giftware, locally grown produce and goods.

Scots Marketplace | Vienna, WV

The Bakery and Coffeehouse provides customers with homemade, hand-crafted treats daily. From cannoli croissants to birthday cake French macarons; espresso to a chai latte or even signature drinks, this shop has what you need to satisfy your tastebuds.

The Bakery and Coffeehouse | Williamstown, WV

SW Resources is a non-profit organization that provides jobs, employment services and trainings to individuals with disabilities.

IncSwell is a collaborative workspace in Marietta, Ohio that provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with a smart, sophisticated workspace.

IncSwell | Marietta, OH

EmLeigh’s & Mama B’s is a woman-owned boutique that brings retro and contemporary fashion to the MOV. With styles that add a little flare to each customer’s closet, this shop allows women to bring trendy, classic and chic looks to life.

EmLeigh's & Mama B's Boutique | Vienna, WV

Small businesses like these and many others in the area provide ample opportunities for entrepreneurs to create their own distinctive mark in the region.

As she traveled around the MOV, Sams learned a great deal from each interaction,

“I learned that running a business isn’t just about turning a profit. It’s about giving someone worthwhile employment. It’s about shouldering the burdens of your community members. It’s about forming relationships with your customers and serving them the best you can.”

Sams visited these establishments to increase awareness of the value small businesses bring to the table, as well as develop new relationships amongst their owners.

SW Resources | Parkersburg, WV

“It’s incredibly easy to become focused on only promoting yourself, but people get tired of seeing the same material over and over,” Sams said. “Business is about relationships, and that’s been a huge takeaway from this experience. It’s important to spend time getting to know your neighbors; I did, and I enjoyed capturing it through text and photos. I’m very glad for the opportunity.”

Biztec itself is a small business that sprang to life at the hands of Joe Sams, Owner and President, and his employees.

“Joe Sams has received so much support from the community over the last 15 years, and so he takes opportunities to support [the] community in return. A social media highlight is a fun way to draw attention to other local businesses,” Sams said.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, it became increasingly clear how important it is to support local businesses. Even after a global epidemic, local organizations persevered and continue to be triumphant to this day.

“Small businesses don’t have the same advantages as large companies, and all the pressure is on the business owner. They rely on the community around them to buy their goods and utilize their services, and when that happens you have a successful economy."

Shopping and supporting local has become a widespread movement in today’s society, and it will continue to take the world by storm. Small businesses each day are being invested in and supported by customers who want to make a difference. By shopping local, you are allowing entrepreneurship to remain, making a business owner’s dreams a reality.

“Support local when you can. These are real people running these shops. When you buy from them, you are investing right back into your local economy. You are making entrepreneurship possible.”


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