Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Nancy McNew said the chamber of commerce started a campaign called Totally Locally Jefferson County. It came into existence through a small business relations committee and a local graphic designer drew the logo associated with the campaign.

Jefferson County merchants are expecting many local people to shop at their stores the Saturday after Thanksgiving, known as Small Business Saturday. Howard Hurst is the president of Shepherd Tipton and Hurst Florist & Greenhouses at 910 West 29th Ave. in Pine Bluff and is offering many sales surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We are all about shopping locally,” Hurst said. “Every time you buy something, you vote with your dollars. Local people pay for their community through sales tax. It is critical to the success of the community. We sell through the Internet and pay sales taxes on those transactions. I advocate for paying your fair share of sales tax. The relationships in towns are critical. It is a huge deal. Pine Bluff is a close-knit community and they really patronize their businesses. It’s a traditional old-school town. It’s wonderful.”

Hurst is gearing up for a busy weekend of sales.

“As a florist, Thanksgiving is busy. It is a floral holiday with flowers for tables,” Hurst said. “That is a really big deal. In terms of Christmas, we are a complete Christmas store full of wreathes and lights. We will still be busy with Christmas next week with all kinds of holiday decor.”

Tipton and Hurst was founded in 1886 by his grandfather. Hurst purchased Shepherd Florist and Greenhouses in 2017. He said he has been friends with John Shepard since their childhood. Hurst said his Pine Bluff connections run deep.

“My wife is a Pine Bluff High graduate and my sister has lived in Pine Bluff for 40 years,” Hurst said. “All the local connections are huge.”

Keepsakes Jewelry and Gifts co-owner David Judkins advertises in the Pine Bluff Commercial, the White Hall Journal, on billboards, on cable television, on Facebook and online at www.keepsakesjewelry.com. His wife Jane Judkins and he expect an influx of customers at 7203 Sheridan Road, Suite B, in White Hall.

“Advertising is important to all businesses, whether large or small,” Judkins said. “You have to advertise to survive.”

Judkins is offering many specials on Black Friday and small business Saturday.

“Many people shop at malls and they get tired of waiting in lines,” Judkins said. “We think Black Friday will be a good day for us. We are looking forward to it.”

Pope Furniture co-owner Larry Miller is prepared to offer sales for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which has traditionally been one of the busiest sales days of the year. Pope Furniture will mark 93 years in business on Jan. 2, 2018, and is currently at 1800 East Harding Ave. in Pine Bluff.

“We are making a living in Pine Bluff, Arkansas,” Miller said. “We have earned our reputation through great customer service. Pine Bluff rewards us by shopping at Pope. My sons are fourth generation of operating the John Pope Furniture Company.”

Judkins advertises in the Pine Bluff Commercial, SEA Life magazine, local radio and through mailers.

Bill Brumett is the owner of Brumett Agency and the vice president of the Pine Bluff Small Business Association. He tells Pine Bluff residents to shop in Pine Bluff every day “because it adds to our economy and tax base and it adds to our revenue.”

“We have spoken at civic clubs, networked with small businesses to use our local vendors,” Brumett said. “We focus on education. Many people shop out of town because they do not realize we have those services in Pine Bluff.”

Donna Dial is a sales consultant at South Arkansas Business Solutions in Pine Bluff and the membership chairman of the Pine Bluff Small Business Association. She is also sharing the same message of shopping locally because it helps Pine Bluff residents.

“We express that when they spend one dollar, 70 cents stays in the local economy,” Dial said. “The only way to improve Pine Bluff is to spend locally so we can get revenue from tax dollars. I was born and bred in Pine Bluff.”

Pine Bluff residents save time and gasoline money by not driving 45 miles one way to Little Rock, Dial said. She encourages Pine Bluff residents to think before they spend.

“I think a lot needs to start with city officials,” Dial said. “We’ve seen an improvement yet there is more work to be done.”

Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce Director Nancy McNew said the chamber of commerce started a campaign called Totally Locally Jefferson County. It came into existence through a small business relations committee and a local graphic designer drew the logo associated with the campaign.

“We implemented the campaign throughout the year with an e-blast,” McNew said. "We encourage our members to use the #TotallyLocallyJC. Our campaign is about creating awareness. It is evolving. We are looking for individuals to join the cause. With social media, the impact is extraordinary.”

Edward Haddock is the Small Business Association’s Arkansas District Director. He encouraged millions of Americans to shop locally on Small Business Saturday.

“As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates all small businesses on a daily basis,” Haddock wrote in a press release. “When our small businesses do well, our communities do too.”