Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

City introduces “Choose Harrisburg” campaign to encourage shopping local

A row of small businesses on N. 3rd Street

Empty that Amazon shopping cart and put down that Starbucks. It’s time to go local.

Jamal Jones, Harrisburg’s director of business development, has announced a new program designed to promote shopping local.

The “Choose Harrisburg” campaign encourages people to shop small city businesses for the month of August, Jones explained today on another edition of the city’s Facebook Live program, “Community Conversations.”

“It’s a way to provide businesses with much needed support,” he said.

Any business certified by the city with fewer than 50 employees is eligible to register between July 20 and 31. Participating businesses will be added to a list for the public to see, giving people options for buying local.

“Not only does it give a boost to those local businesses, but, long term, we hope it gives a boost to our local economy,” Jones said.

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse explained that taxes from businesses in the city help fund city operations. With those revenues being lower than usual due to the COVID-19 crisis, he believes we will feel the effects next year. Millions of dollars will be lacking for city services such as the police and fire bureaus.

“When you’re shopping local, you’re not only helping the business itself, you’re ensuring that the basic services which everybody wants and needs in the city are being able to continue well,” he said.

The city will partner with the Downtown Improvement District and the African American Chamber of Commerce.

“For those of us that get take out once a week or so, let’s resolve for the month of August to only get takeout from businesses that are based here in Harrisburg,” Papenfuse said.

People can show their participation in August by using the hashtag #choosehbg on social media.

Jones said that more information will be provided in the coming weeks.

To watch past Community Conversations, visit the City of Harrisburg’s YouTube. For more information, visit


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