Berrien County commissioners accept challenge aimed at supporting Berrien County businesses

Published 3:00 pm Monday, December 14, 2020

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ST. JOSEPH — At the Berrien County Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Dec. 10, Berrien County Commissioner Teri Freehling challenged her fellow commissioners to lend support by accepting the “Buy Local Berrien Challenge” recently introduced by Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber.

The challenge is urging residents to support locally-owned Berrien County restaurants and businesses hit hard by the pandemic. The social media campaign encourages people to shop and eat locally via takeout and then publicly challenge three friends to do the same by tagging them on social media. The campaign will likely run through the end of the year and is using the hashtag #buylocalberrienchallenge.

Without state or federal intervention, the area will soon see the businesses affected by restrictions begin to close their doors for good, commissioners said. The campaign aims to help retain these businesses and the jobs they create. Right now, the only thing standing between them and permanent closure are the consumers who support them.

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“We are incredibly thankful to the entire Berrien County Board of Commissioners for stepping up to support local businesses by taking our #buylocalberrienchallenge,” said Arthur Havlicek, president and CEO of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber. “Participation in the campaign has been tremendous thus far but having the support of our leaders at the county level will help it reach new heights. Together, our collective effort will move the needle for businesses at a critical time in their fight for solvency.”

Additionally, the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber will randomly select several participants who use the hastag and send them small tokens of appreciation.