Carolyn Gilbert knows the key to keeping Thomson-McDuffie County thriving: shop local. "It keeps the local businesses from going out of business," said Mrs. Gilbert, who is the director of the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce.
"I know you can't do it all the time, but if everyone tries to as much as possible, we can keep the businesses open."
The local chamber of commerce offers Chamber Gift Checks, which can be used just like a check and deposited in the merchant's account.
Mrs. Gilbert said the check does not have to be brought back to the Chamber for reimbursement, and are redeemable for goods and services at over 40 locations.
The checks are printed in denominations of $10 and $25 and can only be redeemed at participating chamber businesses.
Mrs. Gilbert urges potential customers to shop local.
She said it's important to remain in town, even if one's need is not retail, and use local doctors, dentists, medical testing facilities and services.
"Always give our local merchants a chance for your business before you go out of town," she said.
Mrs. Gilbert suggests using the Chamber Checks as thank you gifts or employer gifts to employees.