Shop safe

Stanwood is launching Shop Safe & Discover Stanwood Camano — a new campaign inviting people to safely rediscover local stores.

The effort — a partnership with the City of Stanwood and the Stanwood Chamber of Commerce — highlights the dedication local businesses have for health and safety and reassures our community that it is safe to visit, dine and shop once again, Stanwood City Administrator Jennifer Ferguson said.

“It’s intended to break down any psychological barriers people may have right now about shopping downtown during the pandemic,” Ferguson said. “Some folks might be concerned about going back into stores and restaurants.”

This $15,000 campaign, paid for with CARES Act money through the Department of Commerce, gives participating shops uniform marketing materials, such as window clings, floor signage and online promotion.

Materials will start appearing in local stores and online later this week, Ferguson said.

“It’s an initiative to show Stanwood as one community and its focus on shopping local,” she said.

And so far, so good, according to new data. Since the start of the pandemic, Stanwood’s sales tax revenue did not post dramatic drops as some feared, according to city tax collection data.

So far this year, the city has collected $1.3 million in sales tax revenue — up $300,000 from the same time last year. Some of the increase is possibly due to more online shopping, where taxes are collected based on a package’s destination.

But Ferguson said she hopes more people shop locally because it “positively impact the community,” Ferguson said. “Other communities were hit harder, and it wasn’t as bad here as we thought. That has been really positive. Now we’re continuing to stay in the monitoring mode. With the economy reopening in a limited capacity, things are coming back. We just need to keep shopping local.”

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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