The Miami County Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with a regional bank to bolster local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Locally owned businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy,” a news release from the Chamber and the First Bank of Berne said earlier this month. “As your local businesses begin to open, the Miami County Chamber of Commerce and First Bank of Berne, have partnered together to encourage shoppers to think local, buy local and most importantly, support their local businesses first. Whether it is visiting a storefront or website, it’s important community members work together to protect your locally owned stores, restaurants, museums and attractions and keep your community strong.”

Jennifer Ash, a bank branch manager with the bank said that the business owners’ “hard work, dedication, and valued relationships are what make our community great.”

“Our local small business owners have poured their hearts and souls into our community, and now it’s time we come together and show them that same support,” Ash said in the release

Chamber president Sandy Chittum told the Tribune on Thursday that leadership at the bank offered to help as businesses get back to work. The campaign will feature window clings that can be seen on the doors of local businesses that read “Buy Local, Shop Local, Made in Miami County.”

Chittum said that when the bank offered to help, membership decided to take the “shop local” idea a step further.

“Then the Chamber came up with the idea, and said, ‘Let’s really own it,’” she said. And they added the “Made in Miami County” portion to the campaign.

Chittum said the clings have now been distributed throughout the county.

Tips they are offering to support local businesses include:

Shop locally owned retail stores – whether it is clothing, furniture or for other essential needs

Eat at your local restaurants

Shop local farmers markets and purchase fresh produce

Purchase any necessary gifts from local shops

Buy gift cards for future appointments and shopping needs

Visit your local museums, parks and attractions

“The mission of the Miami County Chamber of Commerce has always been to encourage, promote and support our community,” the release said. “Now, more than ever, they are continuing to urge community members to give back to their locally owned businesses as we rise from these challenging times, together.”

Clings are still available. Those with questions about joining the campaign or how to give back to local businesses, contact the Miami County Chamber of Commerce at 765-472-1923.