Get local (and get free coffee)

by Amanda Bedgood

Shop Local Acadiana kicks off holiday season

On Friday, the business owners of Shop Local Acadiana are kicking off the holiday season with a 'thank you' to patrons in the way of free coffee and goodies at Johnston Street Java.

The businesses that participate in Shop Local Acadiana will be under the tent next to the Johnston Street coffee shop offering coffee, prizes and free goodies from 7 to 9 a.m. with the mission to keep local front and center on the mind's of Acadiana shoppers as we approach Black Friday.

In recent years there has been an elevated awareness about how very important it is to stay local. Of the benefits of spending money in the places that invest in this very community. Keeping dollars here. But, the deluge of Black Friday freebies and hype of $2 flat screens (or bars of gold or whatever they're offering that makes people stand in line for hours at 3 a.m.) seem to erase the mantra of Shop Local. This year efforts like those of Shop Local Acadiana are aimed at changing that. (In fact, American Express has deemed the Saturday after Black Friday Small Business Saturday.)

Business owners like Julie of Jewelie's Jewelry participate in Shop Local Acadiana because she believes it's important to continue to raise awareness with a collective voice.

"I like the idea that Shop Local has really brought all of us together, that local businesses are banding together. It's a fantastic idea and brings awareness to shoppers and local consumers on how important it is to patronize local businesses."

And that includes doing it on Black Friday.