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Oshkosh Facebook group promotes support for local businesses

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 4:27 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Over a year with limited interactions, social media became relied upon more than ever to connect. One tourism group used Facebook as a way to promote local shopping with unexpected success.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, when safer at home hit, it was very difficult to know what we should do,” said Amy Albright, Executive Director of the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau, also known as Visit Oshkosh.

Visit Oshkosh had to switch up its typical tourism methods entirely in 2020, promoting business within the community as opposed to drawing visitors in.

“We have seen people spending, you know, essentially their vacation dollars here in their town,” said Albright.

Part of that consumer traffic is thanks to a Facebook page, which Albright says at first focused on pandemic dining options only, but now promotes all the happenings in Oshkosh.

“It has become just an amazing resource and really a great way to celebrate businesses, which has been a really fun thing to see,” said Albright.

Since it started in March the “#SupportLocalOshkosh” Facebook group has gained more than 10,000 members. Many post about their positive experiences with local businesses.

“You know the posts of people just having fun in their own town has been really inspiring and I think it really is something that - we can’t wait to, of course, welcome visitors back - but our locals make our town so this has been a highlight in a time that was not exactly easy,” said Albright.

Albright says their holiday campaign “Love Local” resulted in more than $100,000 spent at local businesses, local support she hopes to see continue.

“These are the businesses that give our community a personality. These are the businesses that really make up our city and make up our town and I think it’s something that could positively come out of a very hard and negative time,” said Albright.

Though she’s looking forward to the pandemic ending, Albright sees a long future for #SupportLocalOshkosh.

“We’re having too much fun with it, so I definitely think we’ll keep the Support Local Oshkosh page going,” said Albright. “We just can’t wait for us to be able to talk about everything Oshkosh has to offer, not just things during a pandemic.”

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