Shop Alabama hopes to increase local shopping this holiday season

Black Friday is only a few days away, but some local retailers are starting the discounts earlier.
This year officials expect Alabamians to spend about 11 billion dollars for the holidays.
Many will do their shopping at major department store, but you will see the biggest return on your investment if you shop locally.
This times of year many are focused on getting the best bang for your buck. 
A new initiative, shop Alabama, is helping you make your dollar count.
“We want people to rethink the value of their dollars when they are doing their Christmas shopping and shop with someone that you know you’re supporting your friends and neighbors,” said Melissa Warnke.  “You’re strengthen the economy, but you are also supporting your community.”
Shopping store in the Wiregrass benefit programs like United Way and many other nonprofits.
“The locally owned Dothan businesses give back two or three times as much as the big box and online sites don’t have anything back to the communities,” said Susan Anderson.
Many stores are deciding to closer their doors for Thanksgiving day 
“Half the shoppers in Alabama, in a survey, said they don’t want to get the crowds on Friday and I think retailers are responding to that,” said Melissa Warnke.
For those of you not wanting to get out into the madness.
“Retailers are stretching out their deal to not just be thanksgiving and black Friday it’s self,” said Melissa Warnke.
Although the largest shopping crowd is parents or adults, but one retailer says students being out of school helps their business.
“This year they are getting out for the entire week so we expect to see traffic earlier,” said Susan Anderson.
Melissa Warnke also says websites applying sales tax are evening the odds for local businesses.

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