WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A new campaign to help local businesses on both sides of the G.V. Barbee Bridge in Oak Island was recently launched.
Due to the Barbee Bridge closure while it has maintenance work done on it, local stores, shops and restaurants in that area were worried it would it would negatively affect their business.
In order to get to some of those businesses it is now a 20 to 30-minute detour.
Business owners have also heard that some customers think they are not open due to bridge closure, which is not true.
Because of this, many of the businesses have been suffering.
So the Southport Oak Island Chamber of Commerce decided to launch a campaign to help these business owners.
It is called “It’s Worth the Drive Go Local”.
There are three different games associated with the campaign.
One of the games is the “Go Local Passport.”
Shoppers save their receipts from any Oak Island business. When they collect 10 receipts they can turn them in to the Chamber of Commerce to have their name entered in a monthly drawing to win $100.
Another game is the “Go Local Carpool.” The Chamber of Commerce will live stream on their Facebook page with a local business owner as they make their way to another local business.
The third game is the “Go Local puzzle.” Shoppers can pick up a nautical themed puzzle frame from the Chamber of Commerce. They will receive a puzzle piece from each participating business when they spend $5 or more there.
Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President, Karen Sphar said they came up with the idea for this campaign as soon as they heard the bridge would be temporarily closed.
“We started working on them as soon as we found out the bridge was going to be temporarily closed,” Sphar said. “We knew we needed to do some heavy promotion to keep the dollars here local.”
Sphar added that it is important to support local businesses in the area because it is the back bone of their community.
“We are a community of small businesses and they are the back bone of this area,” Sphar said. “We don’t have a large number of corporations in our area and it’s where our jobs are. It’s where our economy thrives. So we need to make sure we are keeping that wheel going.”