Radio company owner urges consumers to buy local as Amazon holds Prime Day

WWNY Radio company owner urges consumers to buy local as Amazon holds Prime Day

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Prime Day is Amazon’s biggest sale event of the year. But, a local radio company is sending a message over the airwaves loud and clear: shop local.

Tuesday kicked off a two-day event filled with deals and steals on Amazon. But the event highlights a more important issue - supporting local businesses when they need it most.

Community Broadcasters owner Jim Leven created an ad telling consumers, “Don’t do it.”

So why make the ad? He says the message is pretty clear.

“Here we are with this multi-trillion dollar entity, Amazon. They’re a good company, I have nothing against them. But they’re going to be siphoning money out of the north country in unprecedented ways this year,” he said.

And with a global pandemic in the mix, local leaders say supporting small businesses has become a vital in keeping local economies alive.

“Business owners and the employees that are working and owning these businesses are putting money pack into our community. If we keep those dollars here locally, that’s more money we can share amongst each other to better our greater community,” said Kylie Peck, president & CEO, Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Strut Boutique in Watertown went months without an order during the pandemic.

“I appreciate everybody that has supported me through this pandemic because it has been harder,” said owner Ashley Scanlin.

Scanlin says, like Amazon, shopping from small businesses like hers and others in the community can be as easy as clicking a button.

“We do have online shopping. We also have in-store pickup. So if you’re still a little weary about going in and hanging out in the store, trying stuff on, we do offer that,” she said.

It’s something Leven says is a small way to make a big difference.

“The connectivity, the connective tissue of a community is its small business community. That’s what radio is for, supporting our community, so we’re here,” he said.

And although Leven will stop running his ads Wednesday when the two-day event ends, supporting small is something local leaders and businesses say should happen every day of the year.

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