Stores throughout El Campo and Wharton County have their doors open today hoping shoppers will support Small Business Saturday rather than head to big box stores out of town.

And next week, there’s the El Campo Chamber of Commerce’s Hometown Holiday Shop Hop on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

“These are the businesses that make our community go round. We need to support them so they continue to be successful for years to come,” El Campo Chamber President Rebecca Munos said.

The merchants themselves have marked down a long list of potential Christmas gifts.

In addition, the chamber and the El Campo Leader-News are offering prize incentives.

“The City Development of El Campo’s Shop LOCAL! campaign is a proven success, because of you and that’s great. Now, however, are two chances to put some of that money back in your pocket,” El Campo Leader-News Publisher Shannon Crabtree said. “All you have to do is visit our local stores.”

The newspaper’s Hometown Moments & Memories special section is where you will find the Gingerbread Run game piece. Look in your Wednesday, Nov. 27 paper for the magazine, come by the newspaper office, The Shed or Berkeley Eye Center on the West Loop, Jr’s on U.S. 59 or DNJ, Prairie Rose or Uptown Grill.

“It’s a chance to see our local businesses. Visit, pick up a sticker, drop the card off here at the newspaper, 203 E. Jackson, by Dec. 12, and maybe win Christmas cash. Even better, some of these same businesses are listed on the Chamber’s #ShopElCampo Passport game card for today’s Small Business Saturday or right near them,” Crabtree said.

Gingerbread Run merchants are: Berkeley Eye Center, CDC, Coastal Plains Animal Clinic, DNJ Designs, El Campo Chamber, Elite Automotive, Gerberman Jewelers, Jr’s Texas Best, Miller’s Lube & Service, Prairie Rose Emporium, Southern Belle Boutique, Sweet Tees Sportswear, Sunshine Laundry, The Mercantile, The Shed, The Supplement Store, Tin Roof Home & Kitchen, and Uptown Grill.

Today’s Small Business Saturday has 18 participating merchants.

“I’ve seen a lot more merchants offering Small Business Saturday deals. Several are doing specials,” Munos said.

Another chance to win gift certificates comes with the Shop Hop from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3.

“It pays back to shop local,” Munos said.

New this year at the Shop Hop will be the party buses from Texas Coastal Limousine making loops to participating businesses.

“They will be making rounds about every 20 minutes. A lot of people like to sip and shop and that means you don’t have to worry about that and you don’t have to find a parking spot at each place,” Munos said.

Every dollar spent helps the El Campo economy, too.

“Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It’s even better when you Shop LOCAL! with three ways to win some of those dollars back,” Crabtree said.

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