Local merchants offer a wide variety this holiday season

Dec. 1—As Christmas shopping season enters the month of December, many people are learning about the wide variety of goods and services offered in the Golden Isles.

Mathew Hill, director of the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, said he hasn't heard any complaints by local merchants about Christmas shopping this year.

"It seems to be going good," Hill said.

Restaurants are busy, but it's hard to say how much is visitor related compared to Christmas shoppers. On weekdays, Hill said some local residents may forgo lunch at a local restaurant to squeeze in some Christmas shopping.

"This is the time of year when people are taking off," he said.

Kimberly Burgess, director of communications and marketing with the Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, said her organization is taking a different approach to marketing the region for Christmas shopping.

The chamber is promoting any deals offered by local businesses on its website.

"We're trying to promote as many local businesses as we can," she said. "We're highlighting all types of businesses."

Jennifer Krouse, events and marketing coordinator for the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, said her organization is using advertising on digital billboards and print media, as well as social media, to promote supporting local businesses.

Many local merchants have also learned not to depend entirely on walk-in business. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Krouse said many merchants have learned to uses social media to market their products and services online.

"The merchants feel that's another way to reach their customers and offer options," she said. "We have so much holiday spirit. It's a very welcoming environment."