Think Auburn First caters to folks who like a good sale

Goods, services deeply discounted for the week
By: Chelsea Foster Journal correspondent
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The third annual Think Auburn First Week continues through Friday with a bevy of local shops offering products and services at huge discounts. The week-long sale showcases the unique businesses that make Auburn special and gives customers special incentive to shop locally. Cheryl Maki, co-founder of Think Auburn First, says that this week is a way to showcase the businesses that call Auburn home. “We really want to start the conversation about why people should shop locally,” Maki said. “We have some great businesses close to home. Plus if you purchase local goods and services, your money circulates through the community up to 15 times. If you don’t purchase locally, it doesn’t benefit your community at all.” More than 140 businesses will participate. Some shops offer special sales and discounts, like Auburn Drug Company’s sidewalk sale which will feature deep discounts. Paying a visit to any of the participating Think Auburn First businesses will pay off big for the winners of this year’s raffle, Maki said. The grand prize basket includes gift certificates for massages, dinners, movie tickets, free air conditioning services, local wine and more. The raffle can be entered at any participating business with no purchase necessary. Suzanne Gove, owner of ProActive Personal Training, donated a certificate for personal training sessions for the raffle prize and will have special savings on training packages for existing clients and new members throughout the week. Gove and her husband will ride their tandem bike as part of the Think Auburn First group in the Fourth of July parade. “It is a great opportunity for us to not only see many faces along the parade route but to also visit and network with other local business owners,” Gove said. “ProActive strives to support and sponsor community events, as well as host them.” Gove said the personal connections made through small businesses like hers are a huge reward for local customers. “We really take the time to know our clients. We support them whenever possible,” Gove said. “We’re there cheering them on at local events, and it brings us great joy to see the look on their faces when they hearing us whooping and hollering as they run or pedal across a finish line.” This tight-knit sense of community sets local businesses apart from the rest and is only one of the benefits of shopping in Auburn. Jason Lee, owner of Lee Photo, pointed out that doing business locally not only encourages economic growth by supporting the businesses themselves — providing jobs and increasing prosperity for locals — but also helps the community by keeping tax dollars close. “When people purchase in their town, their tax dollars go into their own community, to pay for improvements, parks, roads and things that benefit them directly,” Lee said. Lee said local businesses like his own tend to strive for excellence, giving customers great service while treating them like family and going beyond what most national companies will do to make customers happy. This is a valuable benefit that goes beyond the economic incentives. “We take a lot of pride in our work, and we want to be the best available,” Lee said. “We take a personal interest in our customers. My family has been here since the 1800s doing business right on this street, and we want to support our home. Big businesses don’t have that kind of investment.” Think Auburn First Raffle winners will be announced on July 11. More information about Think Auburn First plus a list of the participating businesses in Auburn can be found at: www.thinkauburnfirst. com.