Thursday, 18 November 2021 13:54

Notes from the Chamber of Commerce: Save Our Locals 2021

By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business
Photo provided. Photo provided.

It’s been just about two years since anyone has complained to me about parking in downtown Saratoga Springs.

I’d like to think that’s because the Saratoga Springs City Center completed their parking structure a year ago. But that’s not the case. The reality is that the pandemic remains unfinished and the economic impact continues to challenge our local economy. Even with a strong summer season, it’s important for everyone to remember that our local businesses faced severe restrictions for the first five and half months of 2021. The labor shortage has also caused challenges.

As I have throughout the last two years, I worry most about our locally owned organizations. They don’t have Human Resources departments to find the talent they need to fill open jobs or the funds to raise their wages. They often lack the capital to survive a short term crisis never mind what is now a prolonged economic disruption. Many face supply chain issues, shortages and cost increases for the products they need to operate. It is these locally owned organizations that we need to save.

I’m not just talking about retailers and restaurants. I’m also talking about local businesses in the construction industry; beauty, health and wellness; artists, musicians, photographers; professional and medical services; hospitality and tourism; and the list goes on and on. I’m also talking about the many incredible locally managed and funded impact sector organizations who take care of those in need. 

For years, many of you reading this have supported local businesses during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. You’ve shopped local even during Cyber-Monday. You’ve then donated to local charitable entities on Giving Tuesday. In the next couple of weeks, you’ll be invited to do the same again this year. 

We, at the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, decided in early-October that we needed our community to help us save our locals every day as 2021 comes to a close. That’s why we created our Save Our Locals $20.21 contest. We want to encourage you to buy or donate local every day and to reward those who do so. 

Here’s how it works. 1. When you spend or donate at least $20.21 at any local business or impact sector organization in Saratoga County, take a photo of your receipt. 2. Email your receipt to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please use a valid email because that is how we notify the winners. 3. Every week, we select 5 to 7 winners from the emails sent to us. Each winner gets a $100 gift card to a local business. In total, we’re giving out more than $5,000 in prizes through December 31, 2021.

Since the pandemic began, the Saratoga County Chamber has vowed to help everyone, members and non-members. This makes participating in the Save Our Locals $20.21 contest even easier. Purchases at every local business in Saratoga County count. You just need to send us the receipt.

In just the first three weeks of this campaign, hundreds of people have already participated. We’ve had 18 winners. The participants have spent nearly $60,000 already. Each week we’re sharing what gift cards are being awarded and who won last week’s prizes at 

Doing a take-out meal for Thanksgiving? I’m betting that qualifies. Making a purchase for Black Friday at a local store. That qualifies as well. Purchasing a gift certificate for a family photo. Qualifies. Hiring a local contractor for a home repair. Qualifies. It’s super simple. Spend or donate at least $20.21. Tell your friends and family. Help us mobilize thousands of people because that’s what it will take to Save Our Locals.

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