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Organizations promote local holiday shopping
by Joan Durbin
November 14, 2012 01:21 PM | 3400 views | 1 1 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The holiday shopping season will soon be in full swing, and area booster organizations are working hard to ensure those shopping dollars are spent at local businesses.

“We have more events than ever this holiday season that are intended to promote shopping, dining and playing in downtown Alpharetta,” said Richard Debban, president of the Alpharetta Business Association.

“And by encouraging our members to participate in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24, we hope to impact traffic for small, locally owned businesses in all parts of the city.”

The ABA is encouraging its membership to develop special offers and promote them through signage and social media to drive traffic to the downtown area and other small businesses on the shopping day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the busiest of the year.

More information about Small Business Saturday is at

Those who attend the city’s Tree Lighting on Nov. 30 or come downtown on Dec. 1 can shop at the ABA’s Christmas Farmers Market and downtown retail stores and dine in local restaurants.

Janet Rodgers, president and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the agency is encouraging shoppers to come to Alpharetta through a multitude of campaigns, events and marketing efforts.

“Alpharetta offers residents and visitors interesting options for shopping year round, but the city is a true destination during the holidays with special holiday events and happenings,” she said.

“Shopping is the number one activity that visitors do in a destination so we invite visitors to enjoy and discover Alpharetta’s four shopping districts, stay in one of our 23 modern and affordable hotels and become engaged in the bustling downtown streets during this special season.”

This year, a new promotion, Sleep in Alpharetta, gives a $100 VISA gift card every week to a visitor staying in one of the city’s hotels on a Saturday night. Twenty-five thousand rack cards were printed and mailed to the CVB’s database and distributed to the 11 Georgia State Visitor Information Centers.

For a second year, the CVBs in Alpharetta and Roswell are partnering on a promotional campaign, Holidays Along the Divine 9, highlighting shopping and events going on between the two downtowns along Ga. Hwy 9.

It details more than 90 events in a 16-page brochure distributed to the 11 Georgia State Visitor Information Centers and mailed to both the Alpharetta and Roswell CVBs. Additionally, online ads were placed in the Chattanooga area, Charlotte and Birmingham.

The promotion has its own web site,, and an accompanying giveaway contest worth $500 to garner even more attention. The publication also is on the agencies’ websites and the brochure can be downloaded.

Dotty Etris, Rodgers’ counterpart at the Roswell CVB, said there are several seasonal marketing efforts in place.

“We are constantly promoting Find It All in Roswell, but for the holidays we have added a couple of efforts,” she said.

“We have items throughout the city happening during the holiday season. These are efforts to keep people in our area, get them to shop here and enjoy the holidays while strengthening the local economy.

Each year, Roswell CVB produces the Christmas In Roswell publication, which details all of these events and activities. It is also available for download with a quick link icon at the top of the CVB home page,

“This year, Christmas In Roswell was selected as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. In addition to the marketing and promotions we put in place, Southeast Tourism Society will be promoting it along with all the Top 20 Events,” Etris said.

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