10 ways to shop Cordova first this season

Cars line Main Street as newly decorated lamp posts shine in the evening light in Cordova on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Most people living in Cordova, Alaska were drawn in by its amazing charm and strong community. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to thrive, not unlike our businesses. Our businesses are run with the intentions of sustaining our community by supplying necessities, creating jobs, and earning enough to keep their families as thriving as the rest of the community.

This has been an especially tough year for small businesses, who are not only dealing with how to remain open during a pandemic, but are struggling to stay open in competition with the big box stores. We all have a hand in supporting our friends and neighbors who own Cordova businesses and you can make their season merrier by shopping local this holiday season. This year it is more important than ever to Shop Cordova First

Here are 10 ways you can support your Cordova businesses today: 

  1. Buy gift certificates/cards. If you have a friends or loved one who enjoys a particular store in Cordova, buy them a gift card. They can choose the perfect item, or you can save it for later. Businesses need cash flow and this is one way to help.
  2. Add a generous tip. Businesses who accept gratuity often have employees, or work themselves, who rely on tips to supplement their paychecks. By offering a generous tip, you are helping the businesses and employees.
  3. Take advantage of local expertise. If you’re shopping for someone who also lives here, your local retailer might even know what that person likes based on their previous shopping and buying habits. 
  4. Shop local businesses online. Many of Cordova’s businesses will ship to friends and family outside of Cordova. If you are hesitant to enter stores, shopping online is a great way to buy what you want and have it ready for pickup.   
  5. Schedule a service for later. If you are going to use a service, pay for it now and schedule it for later. This helps businesses manage their calendars and offers needed cash flow. 
  6. Share the love on social media. When you buy something you love or see a post you support, snap a photo, share it, and tag the local business. Marketing isn’t cheap and businesses appreciate the community marketing for them.   
  7. Avoid online shopping at big-name websites. Money spent in Cordova stays in Cordova. For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $67 will stay in the community being recirculated through other small businesses and eventually funding the infrastructure we all enjoy like shared public facilities, road maintenance, parks and recreation, libraries, police and fire departments! 
  8. Ask businesses if they special order. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try asking the store to order it for you! Many businesses are able to order what you need and by asking for special orders, you help businesses know what they should have in stock. They can often get it shipped to the store faster than you can by ordering it yourself.
  9. Try out a new business. There are many businesses in Cordova. Have you checked them all out yet? Maybe that business you’ve never ventured into has exactly what you are looking for. You never know until you try it out!  
  10. USE YOUR CORDOVA CASH! Cares Act stimulus money through the Cordova Cash cards makes it easier than ever to Shop Cordova First, during a time where our businesses need as much support as possible. It’s a win-win for you and for our business community.
Finance Director Ken Fay displays a Cordova Cash payment card. (Nov. 20, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

In Cordova, our shop local celebration starts on December 4th with the Holiday Bazaar and the second night of Moonlight Madness! We’re all working hard to be here, so why not help each other by aiming to buy more of your holiday gifts from local Cordovan businesses and artisans?