Comptroller Franchot shops local in Cambridge

md-franchot-shopping-simmons_2x

CAMBRIDGE — Maryland state Comptroller Peter Franchot visit Cambridge on Friday, Dec. 2, promoting local shopping for the holidays. Mr. Franchot concentrated his efforts on the small shops in Cambridge’s Main Street district, and visited with the Butterfly Boutique, Rock Lobstah, The Knit Nook and Simmons Center Market.

In each store he made an effort to buy something on his Christmas list, and encouraged his entourage to do the same. Joining the comptroller for this year’s tour was Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Senator Addie Eckardt, Delegate Chris Adams, Katie Clendaniel and Brandon Hesson from Cambridge’s Main Street and Economic Development offices, and George Jackson dressed as Santa Claus.
Comptroller Franchot was upbeat about this holiday season because his department sees signs of economic improvement in Maryland.

“First of all. I think the economy is going to get better,” the comptroller said. “We’ve been handcuffed and confined for so long, timid about spending money, I think you’re going to see over the next several years a strong upwards economic trajectory, and I think that’s great for our citizens. In this interim period, we’re going to need all of our shoppers to come down and frequent these wonderful stores in Cambridge.”

Mr. Franchot is bullish about local shopping. “Our local stores rely upon traffic—this Is not the internet, and the money that you spend in Main Street stores gets spent locally,” he said. “They are the stores that support all our local philanthropic efforts. Nobody ever saw Amazon.com on the back of a little league jersey. I’m not saying people should never use the internet, of course they’re going to; I do myself. But if during December you can come down and patronize your local stores you’ll do a lot of local good. They really need the business if they’re going to make their numbers for the year.”

md-franchot-shopping-butterfly_3x

Mr. Franchot pointed out that the Shop Local Maryland program was a statewide effort to increase local business in the state. “Our promotion of local shopping is a big push; I know Governor Hogan is very supportive, I know the local legislators in a bipartisan way are very supportive. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic initiative, it’s just common sense. Stick up for your local bricks and mortar businesses.”

“It’s just wonderful that the comptroller has come to reinforce the things that we do here in Cambridge to promote shopping locally,” said Cambridge mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. “It’s wonderful for him to come and join us. And it’s great to see that people are supporting our local businesses. Brick and mortar stores keep us vibrant, keep us interesting, and people will come to a store where people have shopped and can tell of their good experiences. I’m proud to be mayor of Cambridge right now because there’s so many good things happening, both on Small Business Saturday and everything that’s happening after that. I’m just so encourage that we are improving, and I hope to see this Main Street phenomena reach out into other parts of our community. That’s the goal for me for the upcoming season.”

md-franchot-shopping-ornament_1x

“The comptroller comes here every year,” said Brandon Hesson of the Cambridge Economic Development Department, “and I always enjoy the visit because he genuinely takes an interest in the business owners. This jewelry store visit (Thomas’ Jewelers) is particularly interesting because I’m pretty sure he’s been in here when it was Lednum’s. I enjoy his visits, his presence in general, but the holiday visits are nice because it’s hard work getting ready for the holidays, and the business owners appreciate the recognition.”

The Comptroller bought small items in each store, including the beautiful Cambridge Christmas ornament in Thomas’ Jewelers, a Maryland-style knit hat in Knit nook, and even some lobster rolls from Rock Lobstah for the ride back to Annapolis.

“I’m excited to see state officials come to our city,” said County Council President Ricky Travers, “and participate in the Shop Local program. Because that’s what it’s all about. You have to shop local—if you don’t shop local, the local stores will go away. The big boxes are not going to hang on for a community. Business needs to be local.”

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.