1-800 Flowers via Daily Finance

Recent News Reminds Us To Shop Local

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but this year we’re left with a good reminder of why shopping locally not only is a good way to support the community, but also a way to have better control of your shopping experience as a consumer. Even though it’s almost a week after the holiday, some companies like 1-800-Flowers still are receiving a lot of criticism on social media for flowers not arriving as pictured on the website.


We’re left with a lesson that while online shopping can be convenient, you really can’t beat the purchasing power that comes along with shopping locally and working with local retailers – especially when there are so many great retail options right here in our own backyard. Shopping locally means you can peruse the shelves for the gift that would be perfect for your mom’s birthday, instead of ordering something with fingers crossed that she’ll like it. It means you can walk into the florist and have a hand in arranging the bouquet for your special someone. While online florists and other businesses often partner with local companies to fulfill orders, shopping directly with your local retailers (especially at peak times like Valentine’s Day) is a safer bet.


So, the next time you need a flowers or a gift, think about your local florist or gift shop. Chances are, you’ll find just what you’re looking for while having the opportunity to form an ongoing relationship with a local shop owner while keeping more of your dollars within the community.


Photo credit: DailyFinance.com


Eat Local – Willaby’s Owner Talks Renovations, Craft Beer, Live Music

We recently had the chance to catch up with William Barnhardt, owner of Willaby’s Café and Catering in White Stone to talk about what’s new at Willaby’s and some of the unique offerings for customers. Read on to learn more about its restaurant renovations, craft beer offerings and Friday night band line-up.


Chesapeake Bank:  Tell us about your recent renovations. It sounds like you’ve had a lot going on!

William Barnhardt, owner of Willaby’s:  We were in the middle of White Stone for 18 years, and the place burned down. The only place that was available is where we currently are – a great location over the water, but the building was in rough shape. We’ve been in the new space for four years, but it took us about two years before we fully committed to the new space. We’ve tried to make it a special space for our customers to enjoy with a lot of personality.


Recently, we designed sun sails for the outside of the building to create a shaded area for outdoor dining, we removed the interior lights and designed lights we made from oyster cans, we took the chairs and replaced them with beautiful church pews – solid oak – from a church doing their own renovations. We used crates to create a wine rack on the wall in the bar. We insulated the stairwell and made it into a cooler for our 12 craft beer taps. We took several thousand pennies and made a penny wall on the back side of the bar. The next renovation will just depend on whatever we’re inspired to do next. It’s an ongoing thing – just trying to put personality in the place. A great dining experience isn’t just great food – it is great service and atmosphere. We want the people to enjoy dining here.


CB: We’ve heard you have a love for craft beer. How do you incorporate that into your restaurant?

WB: I’ve been a craft beer fan for 22 years, since a few years after college. It’s great to be able to incorporate some of my passions into the restaurant – like beer and music. My only regret is not doing it sooner as I’ve been enjoying them separately and now I have been enjoying it all together.


We’ve offered craft beer for four years, and the renovations have allowed us to expand on the number of beers we can offer, and it gives us the space to rotate taps and keep things really fresh on the beer front. There are a lot of breweries to choose from all over the state with all of the breweries in Virginia, which makes it fun.


CB: You mentioned music as a passion of yours that you’ve been able to bring into Willaby’s. Tell us about that.

WB: We’ve been having live music for two years – it’s all regional and local musicians, and there’s so much fantastic local music around this area to choose from. It’s an opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people and it’s great to showcase their talent. We take our band lineup very seriously, and I think we have a fantastic lineup.


We have music every Friday from 7-10 p.m. We book musicians about six months out – we probably only have about 10 slots for the rest of the year. Usually we’ll go see bands play in person before they play here. My first concert was in 1980. I’ve been a concert fan even longer than I’ve been a craft beer fan.


CB: Is there anything else happening at Willaby’s that you want to share?

WB:  We’re in the process of doing a big menu change for dinner and taking things to another level – that menu will come out sometime in February!

Go Local Holidays

Return of #GoLocalHolidays Twitter Chat

Chesapeake Bank again will take part in the Independent Community Bankers Association’s (@ICBA) #GoLocalHolidays Twitter chat.


The focus of the chat, which will take place Friday from 2-3 p.m., is “all things local” during the holiday season. We’re taking part as a panelist because it’s a natural fit to promote shopping locally in our community beyond Shop Local Day.


Community bankers, small businesses and consumers are encouraged to join in the conversation and share tips for shopping local or ask questions. Follow @ChesBank and the hashtag #GoLocalHolidays to interact – we’ll be joined by the American Independent Business Alliance (@TheAMIBA), Bank of Ann Arbor, Mich. (@BankofAnnArbor), Citizens Bank of Edmond, Okla. (@CitizensEdmond) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (@SBAgov).

SLD Thank You

Thank You for Another Successful Shop Local Day

Together, you, Chesapeake Bank and our area chambers have created a shop local movement that reinforces the very real connection between shopping locally and a stronger local economy.


By any measure, our fifth Shop Local Day was a resounding success. More than 335 businesses from the lower Northern Neck, Mathews County, Gloucester County and Greater Williamsburg actively participated by displaying “The Buck Stays Here” decal in shop windows and offering special discounts and other incentives to shoppers.


That’s pretty impressive, and you helped make that happen. Thank you.


Let’s keep the momentum going this holiday season and continue to spread the shop local message. Just download and print the “Ten Good Reasons to Shop Locally” flyer and share with customers, friends and family. When people understand the connection between shopping locally and a stronger local economy, they will think “Shop Local” first.


Best wishes for a happy and prosperous holiday season from your friends and Shop Local partners at Chesapeake Bank.


We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on Shop Local Day in the comments section, so please share!

Karen Riordan

Shop Local – Meet Karen Riordan

Meet Karen Riordan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance since January 2014.  With an extensive business and marketing background, including tourism marketing, Karen shares her perspective on the importance of shopping local.


Chesapeake Bank: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your role with the chamber.

Karen Riordan: I started in January and moved with my family in June 2014 from Leesburg, Va.  We lived in NoVA for more than eight years, as I had been transferred with my former company to be President of the Washington D.C. office of the firm.  I’m originally from New England, having grown up in Rhode Island and then lived outside Boston most of my adult life.


The Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance is a unique non-profit, in that we are a Chamber and the destination marketing organization (DMO) for tourism to our beautiful area.  Our mission is to be the voice of business in Greater Williamsburg.  We work to create an environment of economic vitality through advocacy, education and networking to help businesses develop, grow and prosper.  As the DMO, we promote the Greater Williamsburg region as a premier year-round travel destination.


Our goals are to support the business community, ensuring individual success and greater prosperity in the entire community.  Our committees are member volunteers working in the areas of Government Affairs, Economic Progress, Armed Forces support, Membership, Retention, Health, and Education.


As a new resident of the area, I am so impressed with the community’s hospitality and welcoming approach to visitors and new residents.  My family fell in love with the Williamsburg area as tourists ourselves over the last eight years. The advertising firm I worked with had a strong travel tourism practice that included hotels, cruise lines, Amtrak, and Colonial Williamsburg, so I had some professional familiarity with the area.


What many people don’t know is that I am married to a small business entrepreneur and also left a large corporate firm to run my own advertising agency in Virginia.  As a former small business leader myself, I completely understand the challenges the tough economy has presented these past six years.  I think that experience gives me a strong connection and appreciation for the resourcefulness and dedication it takes to be small business owner.


CB: The chamber has partnered with Chesapeake Bank since 2012 to promote Shop Local Day and generate more awareness and support for the locally-owned and operated businesses in our community.  Please share with us your perspective on this initiative.

KR: I have always personally and professionally supported Shop Local initiatives for a number of reasons.  It’s good business to support your neighbors and build a community in which others will support you right back.  I also love the ability to provide goods and services that are unique to an area – it makes them special as a gift-giver and more meaningful for the recipient.  And Shop Local initiatives are sprouting up all over the country for a reason: locally-owned and operated businesses are truly the backbone of every local economy.


Over the years, with jobs transferring overseas and more shoppers shopping online, towns of all sizes have continued to see an increase in vacant storefronts and strip malls.  Shop Local reminds citizens how important it is to keep the dollars here at work in our local economy and encourages talented residents and entrepreneurs to invest in a community willing to invest in them.


We should all feel fortunate to live in Williamsburg.  It is abundant with wonderful businesses of ALL sizes and types that give back and make our area a great place to both live and visit.  Studies show, however, that as much as $0.60 to $0.70 of every dollar spent at a locally-owned business stays at work in the community.  In addition, many of our local businesses are unique to this area, adding to its attractiveness as a place to visit.  Increasingly, travelers are looking for destinations with a diverse blend of shops and eateries they can’t find at home.


Bottom-line, when a community’s locally-owned businesses are doing well, the entire community thrives.


CB: Do you think Shop Local Day has helped generate more awareness and support for local businesses? 

KR: I absolutely believe that Shop Local has been a key resource that has grown more awareness and appreciation for local businesses.  Shop Local Day shines the spotlight and keeps our local businesses top of mind.  But Shop Local is way more than one day – it is a spirit that we want to keep year-round – certainly as we go into the prime holiday retail season, shopping local can have a positive impact for our businesses and on our economy.


CB: Do you see more local businesses working together and supporting each other? 

KR: The fact that we have over 100 businesses signed on to take part is just amazing.  Part of our goal is to promote this day so those businesses “feel the love” from our community and we all go out and take part.  I am excited to spend the day visiting many of the Shop Local participants; it will help make a major contribution to my early holiday shopping!


CB: What role does the chamber want to play in growing the business community for the benefit of everyone who works and lives in the Williamsburg area?

KR: Growing the business community by helping new businesses take off, as well as supporting existing businesses is at the heart of why we exist.  Shop Local is a perfect extension of that and we remain committed to grow awareness and participation by businesses and by the community.  This is a movement that we can hopefully grow stronger and stronger over time.


CB: Is there anything else you would to add?

KR: I hope we can count on the community to support our local businesses this Saturday and every day, so we keep our economy and our community strong.


Photo via wavy.com

Artfully Yours

Shop Local Day Profile – Artfully Yours

Leading up to our next Shop Local Day event on Saturday, November 8, Chesapeake Bank wants to highlight some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.


Artfully Yours is a dream come true to a mother & daughter duo in the Art District of Williamsburg. Open for less than a year, they highlight a great amount of local work and offer a number of services to the community – including yoga and art classes for kids. As you’ll read, they have big plans for the future, too! Learn more about the Artfully Yours in their profile below.


Business Name:  Artfully Yours
Contact: Chelsea White
Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at 757-253-6932.
Shop Local Day Deal: 10% off your entire purchase of merchandise or art classes!  (Doesn’t include birthday parties.) Also, if you download the new LOVEVA App and show us, we will have a free gift for you!
Store information:  Artfully Yours is located at 901 Richmond Road in Williamsburg. Visit Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Chesapeake Bank: Can you tell us more about the different services you offer to the community?

Chelsea White: At Artfully Yours we have a multi-faceted location! We sell work from local artists and craftsmen, we offer art and yoga classes for kids, birthday parties, adult classes etc. – and we are working on something really BIG that will be debuted close to Thanksgiving! We also go into the community during local events and offer free kids art projects and activities, as well as in the schools!


CB: What does shopping local mean to you?

CW: Shopping local means everything to me especially now that I own a small business. It doesn’t necessarily mean cutting off the rest of the world, it just means tending and encouraging the growth of locally-owned business, especially those who use local resources. It also means becoming more self-sufficient to your area, i.e. eating local seasonal crops, and depending less on imports. It helps the local economy, the environmental impact is less, customer service is better, and local businesses support more charities. Shopping local also helps to preserve our community’s character.


CB: You and your mom operate Artfully Yours together, right? What does it mean to you to be part of a family-run business?

CW: Family-run isn’t always easy, but it was the right choice for us. To us the uniqueness and soul of family ownership is to have a family (in our case mother and daughter) that is dedicated and passionate about the business. We truly care about keeping the quality of our classes and merchandise in order to please the Williamsburg community. We are also invested in the future of Artfully Yours and how it is perceived by the public.


CB: How did you get started in the industry you are in? We’d love to hear any details about your business story.

CW: Both my mother and I have an art and creative background as well as a business background. We constantly felt like there was need in Williamsburg for a location like Artfully Yours. We haven’t even touched the surface in implementing all of our “grand plans,” and it is truly a blessing to be able to use all of our talents in our own business. My mom and I have had years worth of “business” meetings throwing ideas around and trying to figure out the logistics of it all. Artfully Yours truly fell into place when it did.


CB: It looks like Artfully Yours works with a number of local artists. Can you tell us more about that?

CW: Currently we work with only local artists (we have about 125). Most of our artists call Hampton Roads home, however a few are from Richmond and other places around Virginia. Hampton Roads (and Virginia) houses some of the most talented artists and craftsmen.


CB: How do you stay involved/give back to your local community?

CW: We set up booths all over Williamsburg at a variety of events where we offer free kids art projects and activities, and many times we use recycled items. We are always accepting donations of recycled home goods for our “Re-Create” area upstairs where kids can come and create with recyclables. I teach my kids yoga classes in the schools, and someday we hope to bring our art into the schools as well.  We recently hosted a ‘Beyond Boobs’ fundraising event as well as a month-long raffle for them, and we always try to donate items when asked!

Rappahannock Art Leage

Shop Local Day Profile – Rappahannock Art League

Leading up to our next Shop Local Day event on Saturday, November 8, Chesapeake Bank wants to highlight some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.


The Rappahannock Art League, founded in 1949, is the oldest and largest visual arts organization in the area. A not-for-profit organization, RAL’s home is a cooperative gallery run by volunteers. Many events take place in the gallery including monthly forums, workshops and receptions. Learn more about the Rappahannock Art League in their profile below.


Business Name:  Rappahannock Art League
Contact: Hope Towner
Contact information: Website, Facebook or by phone at 804-436-9309
Shop Local Day Deal: Enter a drawing to win a $100 Gift Certificate. May be applied to any purchase at the Studio Gallery!
Store information:  Rappahannock Art League is located at 19 North Main Street in Kilmarnock. Visit the studio Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Chesapeake Bank: It looks like RAL offers many great services to the community – from the gallery to exhibits to tours. Can you tell us more about your offerings?

Hope Towner: Rappahannock Art League Studio Gallery has many events. We produce a changing monthly show in our Exhibit Room, host monthly art forums and lectures, hold First Friday receptions, lead bus tours to nearby museums and galleries and teach adult workshops and summer workshops for kids. We welcome the general public to all of these events. In addition, the gallery provides a creative environment for our member artists to share ideas and techniques. RAL artist development groups meet regularly including the Life Drawing Group, Tuesday Painters (an informal painting group), the Photography Group and more.


CB: What does shopping local mean to you?

HT: Shopping local should be encouraged throughout our community. Supporting local businesses keeps our downtown vibrant. It is also a great way to learn about all the wonderful things our community has to offer.


CB: What service or product do people come to you most for?

HT: Everything in the Studio Gallery, including our monthly shows, is for sale. All the artwork is made by local artisans. There is so much talent in our midst!


CB: What is one of the biggest challenges you face in your business, and how are you dealing with it?

HT: As a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on our membership dues and other donations. We are constantly on the lookout for new grants and new ways to encourage contributions. The Amazing Raise has been a wonderful event to participate in (and many of our local businesses do!).


CB: How did you get started in the industry you are in? We’d love to hear any details on your business story.

HT: I got started in the non-profit business right after college. I started in the theater world. After several years in D.C., I decided to get my Masters degree at American University in the Arts Management program. Since then, I’ve worked in Tucson, San Jose and Berkeley, Calif. But I always spent my vacation time here in Kilmarnock. My parents have lived here for 30+ years, so when it was time to come home, I couldn’t think of a better fit for me than RAL. I’ve been learning a lot about the visual arts, maybe I’ll even dabble in the arts myself!


CB: You’re the only paid employee of RAL, right? Are you volunteer-run otherwise? Tell us about that.

HT: Yes, I am the only paid employee, albeit part-time. We are a cooperative, run by volunteers including our Officers and our Board of Directors. Every artist who has opted to display in the gallery is required to work three hours per month – but many members who aren’t exhibiting volunteer as well. Just as in any business, there are lots of jobs to be filled, and I’m grateful that we have such a wonderful group of dedicated members!

Paula Milsted

Our Director of Marketing, Paula Milsted, on Her Passion for Shopping Locally & Supporting “Charming Small Towns”

The blog post below is first in what will be a series of employee-written blog posts. This post is written by Paula Milsted, who serves as the director of marketing for Chesapeake Bank. She celebrated her 12th anniversary with Chesapeake Bank in April of this year. Paula lives in Warsaw with her family and works in Kilmarnock. Here, she talks about why shopping local is so important.


I grew up on a farm outside a small town in Northwestern Pennsylvania not unlike the town in which I live now.  Growing up we were able to go town (meaning the small town) to get groceries, go to the drugstore, visit the dentist, shop for cards, party supplies and gifts, hang out at the local Pizza Pad and play the jukebox, rent videos next door and run to the ATM at the community bank across the street for more money to do all of those things.  We even had a movie theater in this little town.


As I grew older, the next larger town down the road started opening up Walmart, Home Depot, Giant Eagle (large grocery), Blockbuster, an AMC movie theater and more.  One by one each of the businesses mentioned above closed and have left main street looking like a scene from Stephen King’s The Stand.  Well, maybe not that bad, but you get my point.


This town had hidden charm that I hope will come back someday.  I don’t think the community fully understood the impact they were having on their town, until it became what it is today.  A community group has formed to bring this town back to the charming small PA town it once was.  I look forward to the resurgence of this little town.  It takes a lot more work to bring it back than it does to maintain.


And, that is why Shop Local Day is so important to us!!  We all live and work in charming ‘small’ towns (yes, even Williamsburg counts as a small town with all of its charm).  Shop Local Day is a way to raise awareness within our communities about the importance of preserving this charm and maintaining our livelihood, character, economic stability, product diversity and community’s well-being.


So, think about starting with your local shops when finding those groceries, that appliance part, the perfect gift, a gift certificate or a place to have lunch.  You will make a difference and can feel good about supporting your friend, neighbor, civic leader and charming community.

Karen Podd - The Poddery

Shop Local Day Profile – The Poddery

Leading up to our next Shop Local Day event on Saturday, November 8, we’re highlighting some of the participating merchants throughout the region who are offering shoppers a little extra to come out and support their community businesses.


Chances are you’ve seen the work of the Podds, whether it be at a local restaurant, a neighbor’s house, an art gallery or strolling the grounds at Monticello. Their handmade pottery – Karen and Robert Podd are owners of The Poddery in Mathews County – has a way of standing out.


For more than 40 years, the Podds have been offering unique pottery pieces out of their home/studio. A couple pieces – a cylinder-shaped dish that has proven versatile (customers have been known to bake foods, place candles, plant bulbs or pot plants in it) and a chip-and-dip platter – have been big hits: “We’ve sold thousands of them,” Karen Podd said. But the one-of-a-kind pieces, says Karen, are the cream of the crop. “As an artist, I just have to do them.”


Learn more about The Poddery in the profile below.


Business Name: The Poddery
Contacts: Karen or Robert Podd
Contact information: Website or by phone at 804.725.5956.
Shop Local Day Deal: Mention Shop Local Day and receive 10 percent off all purchases.

Store information: The Poddery is located at State Route 660, Foster, VA, 23056 (a quarter mile past the Foster post office). Visit the studio from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week.


Chesapeake Bank: What does shopping local mean to you?

Karen Podd: It means keeping the money in the county…The domino theory: If we can keep the money in the county, it can give someone a job and promote the business and help them spend money. Considering the gas prices today, it really is more economical to shop in the county instead of getting in your car and going somewhere.


CB: What is one of the biggest challenges you face, and how are you dealing with it?

KP: One of the biggest challenges is just to get people here. We’re not in downtown Mathews. Just getting people to come and see what we do. Once we get them here, they usually buy something. Because we’re high-quality crafts, we’ve been known in the Tidewater area for the past 45 years. We’re part of Made in Mathews, 12 artists who joined together and open their studios. We also have our work in the Bay School in town and a small display of our work in the information center in town.


CB: What has been the greatest success in your business?

KP: Disney World has some of our work at their convention center in Orlando. Our garden pots are in the garden at Monticello. Berret’s restaurant in Williamsburg has numerous pieces of ours, including a 24-foot piece behind their bar. Just a general statement, nobody does what we do; nobody does the designs that we do, really unique takes on regular stuff, like fireplace fronts, kitchens and mosaic walls. That’s what we’re known for.


CB: How did you get your start?

KP: We got started because clay ceramics was one of my classes, part of my curriculum at Northern Illinois University. Robert was in the Navy at that time. The Navy brought us to the area, and I became an art teacher for the Mathews Public School System. We lived in Norfolk for about five years, and I became more and more proficient with my clay work and started entering local shows. Robert got out of the Navy, and we decided to stay in the area. By that time, studios had started to carry my work…We kept looking and looking and looking and found this old place here. I was teaching at Granby High School and teaching a lot of Granby wrestlers, who came up here on weekends and helped us gut our house and build our studio [in 1972]. We started doing art shows along the East Coast, and our work was featured in galleries in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Richmond. The rest is history: Now people come to us.


CB: How many art shows do you think you’ve done over the years?

KP: Oh, lord. I would say easily over 500.


CB: What made you take the entrepreneurial plunge?

KP: There was passion there, but we were outdoors people. We were always going to what was called at that time Seashore State Park. Most of my designs, I was really interested in nature… [Starting the business] it just seemed like the right thing to do. We always felt that if it didn’t work out, we could go back to the city and get our jobs back. And we had the support of our families. It was the right move at the right time.


CB: Do you have a favorite piece?

KP: I’m proud of a lot of the one-of-a-kind pieces that I’ve done. The ones that have given me the biggest thrill were Disney World buying a piece and doing work for Monticello. It’s a thrill when you’re looking at a garden magazine and see a picture with our pots from Monticello.


CB: How do you stay involved or give back to the community?

KP: We have always donated work for any group, the fire department, silent auction for PTAs. Also, we have donated reproduction tiles at Tompkins Cottage in the style of the 1800s. We’ve demonstrated at local events. We’ve talked to women’s groups and garden groups. We’ve always been involved with our community.

Anne Paparella

Shop Local – Meet Anne Paparella

Anne Paparella has been serving as the executive director of the Lancaster by the Bay Chamber since the spring of 2014. A previous small business owner who participated in Shop Local Day as a merchant, Paparella has a great perspective on the importance of shopping local.


Chesapeake Bank: What is your role with the Chamber? How long have you been there and are there any facts about the Lancaster Chamber you would like to share?

Paparella: I am the executive director of the Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce. I started working for the Lancaster Chamber this spring. I have lived and raised four children in this county for the last 22 years. The Lancaster by the Bay Chamber has about 245 members and is growing. We have several events we put on each year from RiverRide, a bicycling event, to Taste by the Bay, a food, wine, craft beer and artisan event at the Tides Inn, and The Parade of Homes, showcasing our local builders. We host Kandy for Kids, a trick or treating event, and the Lighted Christmas Parade is in its 36th year. It is a very active chamber of commerce!



Chesapeake Bank: From your experience in small business as well as your current work with the Chamber, I’m sure you have some perspective on the impact shopping locally has on businesses and the overall community. Why do you think shopping local is important?

Paparella: I have worked in retail most of my working career. I co-owned a gift shop call The Box Boutique in White Stone. We called ourselves a hardware store for women with all kinds of girly gifts including lingerie, pajamas, and purses. If it was fun and funky, you could find it at The Box. We also specialized in affordable gifts. I loved every bit of it, from the buying to the display. I especially loved the interaction with our customers. Often, our customers would just stop by to have a conversation or tell us something that was exciting or sad in their lives. We were a gathering place for people. Most of my customers became my good friends.


I definitely understand the impact of shopping local. The summer months, in this area especially, are filled with visitors and river guests, but the spring and winters can be very quiet. I think the Shop Local campaign reminds people how important it is to shop local businesses first before you go out of town. Being a small business owner is challenging. It is not enough to have cute things or great food, you had to have great displays and great customer service. Quite often one person has to do it all for their business. The Shop Local campaign helps you to realize you are not in it alone.



Chesapeake Bank: What kind of impact has the Shop Local initiative had in the Lancaster community and on the Chamber? Do you think it has helped generate more awareness and support for local businesses? Do you see more local businesses working together and supporting each other? 

Paparella: I definitely think you have the merchants working together. Often the merchants will direct their customers to other businesses to help them find what they are looking for. I have, as chamber director and a business owner, been part of discussions with other merchants to generate ideas on how to create excitement and bring more business to the area.


I love that my job allows me to promote businesses in this area. The more unusual shops we have the more attractive the area becomes for visitors. We have such a unique shopping and dining culture here; adorable boutiques and gourmet restaurants. There is something for everyone in this small area. I am grateful that Chesapeake Bank has promoted this shop local campaign. I think it shows the businesses that they are not alone. We are fortunate to have local banks that are so invested and care so much about this area.