WEV’s online shopping market makes it easy to support small businesses

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif .– Women’s Economic Ventures’ Annual Small Business Celebration has launched a Local Virtual Store Marketplace to safely bring shoppers to local small businesses this holiday season.

The market includes more than 50 small businesses owned by women and minorities that are part of the WEV community.

The 26-day shopping portal will be open online until December 13.

This year, holiday shopping is expected to start earlier, generate more online shopping activity, and focus on non-traditional home, health and beauty gifts.

“Small business owners in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties need the support of our community more than ever this holiday season,” said WEV CEO Kathy Odell.

“Fourth quarter sales may determine which of our favorite local stores will survive the New Year.”

Local businesswoman Caleigh Hernandez attends the WEV Virtual Shop Local Market.

“Buying small and local is so important, especially this year,” she said. “Consumers can buy unique, handmade and intentional gifts that support a community. ”

Her passion for social change on the African continent led her to develop RoHo, offering unique Kenyan beaded leather sandals, bags, African beaded jewelry, Binga baskets and home goods.

Through its partnership with artisan groups across Kenya, RoHo creates cohesive and remunerative work for their artisans, most of whom are women.

“We are grateful to our WEV community who has stepped forward and continues to support us during this difficult time,” added Hernandez.

Since 1991, WEV has provided training and business advice to over 17,500 women and men in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The certified community development financial institution has provided more than $ 6 million in business loans and has helped over 5,000 local businesses start or grow.

Companies supported by WEV generate more than $ 300 million in annual sales and have created nearly 9,400 local jobs.

The local virtual store market can be accessed here.

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Peggy P. Gilmore