Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac launch campaign to boost local business

DOWAGIAC — The Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac is doing its part to support local businesses.

The organization unveiled its #BacktheJack social media campaign, a campaign aiming to encourage community members to engage Dowagiac-area businesses during this time of economic hardship.

The idea was hatched during last month’s organization meeting, where the group discussed different ideas to help area businesses to get back on track. Young Professionals member and Wightman Project Manager Stefany Holland suggested the idea of a social media campaign as a way to generate interest in all things Dowagiac.

“I’m involved with the Southwest Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and one of the projects they started was ‘Buy Local Berrien’,” she said. “We decided to start one for Dowagiac. We wanted to spread any type of good, local news to Dowagiac. It took us a few days to come up with the hashtag, but we’re happy with it.”

Holland made the first #BacktheJack Facebook post on Jan. 21, explaining what the campaign was all about.

“My community of Dowagiac has experienced hardship just like others during this pandemic,” she wrote. “Now, more than ever, we need to continue to support our local restaurants, gyms, barbers, hair salons, nail salons, massage parlors, doctors, chiropractors, dentists, candy stores, museums, clothing stores and more. I challenge all of my local community members to join me in continuing to support local businesses and #BacktheJack so that we can all indulge in the wonderful amenities that Dowagiac has to offer when this is all said and done.”

Organization members shared the post and began making posts with the hashtag included to spread the word. According to Holland, the campaign has been well-received.

“It’s been great,” she said. “The Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce has shared a few things. People seem to be more encouraged to share positive things about Dowagiac. It was great to see the chamber share some of the articles. We’re trying to bring as much support to the community as we can. Long-term, we want to share the love and show local communities we have a lot to offer here. Long term, it’s pushing our mission.”

The Young Professionals will be meeting this month to discuss plans for events this year. Its annual Daddy-Daughter event has been postponed due to the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s one of our biggest events,” Holland said. “We’re postponing it until the springtime and mulling around different ideas. It’s a bummer because a lot of kids in town want to have a sense of normalcy. Ultimately, we have to keep people safe.”

The organization will also be discussing its ongoing Russom Park Pavilion project, which involves the construction of a pavilion to complement Russom Park’s sports complex. The project has been in the works for more than three years, and Holland said the organization has reached its $40,000 goal for pavilion funds.

“We will vote to approve purchasing equipment,” Holland said. “Hopefully, construction will start in the spring.”

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 901,683 cases, 19,902 deaths

Dowagiac

Free Concert Friday caps SMC choir camp

News

Fort St. Joseph Open House returns Aug. 7-8

Dowagiac

City of Dowagiac accepts donation of property for redevelopment

Buchanan

Buchanan leaders hear community development update, resident tree concerns

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 23-26

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Niles, Dowagiac featured stops in Lemon Rally vehicle race

Cass County

9-year-old injured in Cass County ATV accident

Local Government

Mayor presents volunteer with Certificate of Appreciation

Cassopolis

Cassopolis Public Schools superintendent resigns

Berrien County

Niles man gets jail, probation on assault-related charges

News

Two arrested on drug trafficking charges in Niles

Berrien County

Dowagiac woman gets probation, jail time in Berrien County stolen property case

Dowagiac

SMC ETS ventures back outdoors

News

Drunk driver sentenced to prison

Business

Chamber hosts ribbon cutting for Dr. A’s Releaf Center

Business

Niles chamber welcomes in-home health care company to the community

Cassopolis

Police searching for vehicle of interest in Cassopolis shooting

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 21-23

Dowagiac

Three injured in Silver Creek Township crash

Cass County

Former SMC instructor accepts plea deal in sexual misconduct case

Cass County

Vandalia resident sentenced to 10 months in jail for drug offense

Berrien County

Students experiencing homelessness remain hard to identify after year with remote education

Cass County

Dowagiac man heading back to prison on weapons charges