Social media campaign designed to spotlight Alabaster businesses

ALABASTER –City Council members have done their part and are now challenging Alabaster residents to help promote locally-owned small businesses during a difficult time.

All seven members of the City Council participated in the #ShopAlabasterFirst Challenge on Facebook, visiting businesses and filming a video highlighting their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Administrator Brian Binzer said he saw other communities doing similar campaigns and thought it would be worthwhile to try to help Alabaster businesses.

“We really want to promote our local small businesses,” Binzer said. “We feel like these small businesses have been impacted pretty dramatically during COVID-19. They really need people’s business right now.”

Binzer took the idea to Mayor Marty Handlon and the Council, all of whom were supportive.

Council members chose two or more businesses to highlight, based on local ownership status and those officials felt were suffering most during the pandemic.

Following the Council’s videos, Alabaster residents were challenged to continue the campaign by posting about their favorite businesses with the hashtag #ShopAlabasterFirst.

This also gives residents the opportunity to promote any businesses the Council members did not get around to.

“We’d love to see that,” Binzer said. “We’d love to see more of these businesses be highlighted.”

Sophie Martin highlighted Joe’s Italian and Blair Pharmacy, Rick Ellis highlighted Siluria Brewing and Chubbfathers, Stacy Rakestraw highlighted The Sassy Shopper and Birds & Burgers, Greg Farrell highlighted Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts and Brooklere Pharmacy, Russell Bedsole highlighted Ernest McCarty Ford and Deep South Cake Company, Scott Brakefield highlighted Frou Frou Boutique, The Pit Stop Barbershop and Champy’s, and Kerri Pate highlighted LJ’s Retail Therapy and Corbin Farms Winery.

“For the last three weeks, we’ve posted these videos to encourage you to shop our locally owned Alabaster businesses first,” Martin said in her video. “Now we want to hear from you, Alabaster.”

Video Visions produced and hosted the videos, while Binzer and Martin, who has broadcast experience, prepared the scripts.