The Shop Saint Michael group boasts nearly 50 business members and exists for basic yet very important reasons.
"Shopping local encourages local prosperity," Shop Saint Michael secretary Wayne Berthiaume and owner of St. Michael said.
"Dollars spent local, stay local. You go to the local dentist. The dentist uses a local accountant. The accountant uses the local salon. The salon owner shops at the local hardware store. The revolving dollars stay in the community and help each business owner support the other and support the community as a whole," he said.
The group, formed in 2010, was the brainchild of Berthiaume. "I was at a meeting that talked about this kind of group and thought someone [in St. Michael] needed to do something."
The initial goal was to have 25-30 members but this year the group will most likely surpass 50.
, Vice President of the group and a local accountant, has been a member since the beginning, "Businesses get to know and help each other," she said.
The group meets monthly and encourages the community not to necessarily change their shopping or spending habits but to do what they are already doing, locally.
"Try us first," Berthiaume said who prides himself and other local businesses on competitive pricing, quality customer service and hopes to create a pleasant experience.
Money spent locally stays locally by way of businesses investing within the community. Many members of the Shop Saint Michael group sponsor sports teams, have donated money to projects like the and try their best to also support other local businesses.
The group doesn't just consist of retailers like Verizon Wireless and Marketplace but also services like a CPA or an attorney's office.
manager Bob Enright is the 2012-2013 president of the group and he looks forward to "continuing to grow awareness and grow the organization."
One of the biggest perks of being part of Shop Saint Michael is knowing who to call, Berthiaume said. "I've met so many business owners that I know who to call and I know what's going on when I need to. That's important," he said.
The Shop Saint Michael group is having their annual meeting Tuesday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the St. Michael City Center. Refreshments will be provided by local businesses and members like Distractions , and Marketplace. There will also be a cashbar. All St. Michael business owners are invited to attend and learn more about becoming a member. For a complete listing of Shop Saint Michael businesses, visit their website.