City of Winter Garden launches ‘Living Local’ campaign ahead of Small Business Saturday

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — In September, the City of Winter Garden launched a “Living Local” campaign, aimed at building awareness of the city’s attributes and promoting small businesses.

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It comes after the coronavirus pandemic shut down many businesses across the country.

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Winter Garden business owner Natalie Galligan says she’s hoping for a big boost this weekend.

“As a small business owner, you realize there is never a given,” Galligan said. “There’s never anything that’s for sure.”

More than 2,000 independently-owned businesses call Winter Garden home, many of them unique businesses that need the support of the community more than ever as they continue to recover from financial losses due to the pandemic.

Galligan opened Shoo-Shoo Boutique in October of 2019.

Just a few months later, she was shut down by the pandemic.

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“It was scary to not know what was coming, and to not be sure how long we would be closed,” Galligan said.

For Small Business Saturday, she hopes customers will shop local, and a lot.

“It’s thrilling to see everything open and people out engaging in traditions,” shopper Tara Conway said. “Giving back and not going to the big online stores, and coming around to see what they have to offer, there’s nothing like this. You won’t find this online”

Conway traveled from North Carolina to see family in Winter garden, and do some local spending.

“We want to be part of a thriving community, right? We all want our areas to be sought after, enjoyed, and vibrant, and when you shop small, that’s what you get,” Galligan said.

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Small Business Saturday in Winter Garden starts with their annual Sidewalk Sale downtown, beginning at 8 a.m.

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Karen Parks

Karen Parks, WFTV.com

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.