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Small business: City of Martinez launches Gift 4 Martinez program to encourage people to shop locally

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MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) — Games of Martinez opened its new site three months ago in order to double its size. The game store specializes in board games and collectible card games. Pokemon is a huge hit.

Store manager Derek Imutan says business has been strong. They offered special sales for Black Friday. On Friday night they have a card swapping event. But he says the card and collectibles market has taken a hit since its peak during the pandemic. And economic uncertainties are ahead.

“The card market is at its lowest right now. It’s unclear where it will be. But I hope the holidays will boost this type of sales,” Imutan says, noting that the holidays are a critical time of the year. for business.

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Black Friday is followed by Small Business Saturday, designed to promote small business shopping. Some Bay Area cities have developed programs to help promote local shopping. In Martinez, they are rolling out the Gift 4 Martinez digital gift card.

“I’m not a big buyer. But I learn from my friend Merna,” Julie Jones jokes, as the two women laugh. “She’s the one who takes me out and convinces me to go to all the fun places around. And we do a lot of shopping downtown.”

Jones, who lives in Martinez, and her friends spent the evening shopping in downtown Martinez. She says shopping local is her way of giving back to the community by injecting money into the community. She supports the city’s efforts to support local businesses with the gift card.

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The town of Martinez cites studies that show local independent retailers return 47% of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 14% for national chains.

For family restaurants, it is even higher: 73% compared to 30% for national chains.

“We like to inject money into local businesses. We shop here for diners, for stores. It’s important to shop where you live so it strengthens the community,” says Nicole Arndt, also a resident of Martinez.

MORE: Oakland introduces new initiative to support safe in-person shopping this holiday season

Carolina Martinez spent time with her 8-year-old son at the Martinez Games. She says buyers can build relationships with local businesses, which is important to her, and another reason to buy locally.

“A lot of these stores, especially the comic book stores, aren’t everywhere. And the ones that are, you know they’ll have authentic stuff there. So it’s good to support,” he explains. -she.

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