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‘Shop Small Live’ Facebook event supports local businesses in Ripon

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

Ripon, Wis. (WFRV) – There’s no question that small businesses are taking a hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This weekend, you can support some local businesses in Ripon. Craig Tebon of Ripon Main Street, Inc. has organized a live shopping event on Facebook, Saturday, May 2 starting at 9 am.

Tebon says during the shut down of many businesses due to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, events like this helps companies step up their e-commerce. “This is our only avenue many stores have to communicate with customers.” He adds that Ripon is a small town and because so many people in the community know each other, they have found the support from the public to be heartwarming.

“It’s important for the community to be there for each other because no one really knows how long this will continue.” Tebon added. The Shop Small Live event is encouraging people to get cozy with a beverage in front of your phone or computer and take part in some retail therapy.

There are over 12 business in Ripon taking part in Saturday’s live event, including Brinkley’s Boutique, named after owner Barb Nelson’s granddaughter, a 9-year-old living with Williams Syndrome. Nelson hopes shopping at her boutique will not only help support the family, but bring some awareness to those living with special needs.

Other shops will feature everything from clothing, home decor, and even ice cream or fabric face masks.

Every ten minutes, a featured boutique will post videos of their exclusive specials. The event also gives viewers a chance to interact and comment to win prizes.

The next Shop Small Live Facebook event is schedule for Saturday, May 23. From there the idea is to turn the lives into previews of upcoming events. “We’ll preview summer events that are taking place, walks, and the holiday line up – all featuring businesses in Ripon.

Nelson told Local 5, “I miss our customers.” Brinkley’s Boutique is a relatively new business, celebrating only their third anniversary in April of this year – right in the middle of the current shut down. She says events like this help them stay connected with their customers, “They miss us and we miss them but this is a new way to do business.”

You can shop virtually this Saturday, May 2 starting at 9 am on the Ripon Main Street Facebook page.

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