News Details

County Kicks off ‘Shop, Dine, Go Local’ 2017 Campaign

(Mullica Hill, NJ) – Gloucester County Freeholders, Chamber of Commerce members and a local business owner joined at The Harrison House Diner today to announce the county's 2017 Shop, Dine, Go Local campaign that is designed to encourage spending money within the local community to help the county thrive.

Freeholder Director Robert Damminger said, "We wanted to start early and remind people the power of local shopping has on their own community.  Gloucester County is the home to hundreds of locally owned and operated eateries, breweries, wineries, retail and specialty stores and we encourage our residents to think of them first when spending their hard-earned dollars."

Freeholder Heather Simmons, Liaison to the Department of Economic Development said, “We are starting this year’s campaign at a great family owned diner who has dedicated their life to serving our residents, hiring our residents and living the American Dream.  The Harrison House Diner is a prime example of a local business fueled by a hard working family, strong local customer testimonials, and excellent service.”

Simmons said that shopping local strengthens the local economy, “Each dollar spent at an independent business returns three times more money the local economy than one spent at a chain and almost 50 times more than buying from an online mega-retailer.  We are not saying big chains are not good or important to our economy, we need them too, but there is something truly enjoyable, and more personal, about digging deep into your local community and finding something perfect for that special someone.” 

Constantine Benas, owner of The Harrison House Diner, said, “Our family has dedicated the past 30 plus years serving the community of Mullica Hill. My brother and myself have been raised in this business and continue to serve our community the way our father and grandfather have done for the past 50 years.  Supporting small businesses such as the Harrison House is crucial to many families like us who dedicate their time and energy to achieve success within the local and surrounding communities.”

Simmons explained that this is the sixth Shop, Dine, Go Local campaign for Gloucester County, and since 2012 business owners and residents have witnessed great results. With over 27 million small and independent businesses in the nation, spending regionally has a great impact on the local economy. According to a study of retail economics, on average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.

President of the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, Les Vail, described the event simply as crucial.   “We need to remember all of the people working at the grassroots level to make their dreams possible. When we keep money within the local economy we all share the benefits, be it more jobs, lower prices, or more options.”

Residents are encouraged to shop local and sign the Gloucester County Shop, Dine, Go Local pledge by visiting or on Facebook @shoplocalsaturday.  

For sponsorship details or opportunities please call the Gloucester County Department of Economic Development (856) 384-6930.

In photo:  Constantine Benas, Michael Benas, Freeholder Heather Simmons, GC Chamber of Commerce Les Vail, Mayor Lou Manzo and Rhonda Barlow of SJ Advance Media all sign the SHOP LOCAL pledge.