February is filled with love. While this season may seem exclusive to couples, two Frankfort groups are asking us all to spread Local Love. Independence Bank and the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to help support small businesses in hopes of bringing awareness to those that are locally owned — such as, Poor Richard’s Books. The shop is home to thousands of books and is situated across from the state’s beautiful Old Capitol. Owner Lizz Taylor says by shopping small, this revenue contributes to a community support network.

“Those dollars are then deposited in a local bank, which will assist area families with mortgages, car loans and educational loans for local students,” Taylor explained. “Local business also contributes to the many local school activities including sports, arts and mentoring programs.”

Starting in 2011, the Saturday following Thanksgiving was dubbed Small Business Saturday aimed at encouraging Americans to support their communities by shopping local. It is estimated for every dollar spent at a small business, 64 cents stay within the local economy. Small businesses are the backbone for growing the economy within our communities, including paying local taxes, employees and making local donations.

Completely Kentucky has been open for more than three decades and currently employs seven people. It offers the work of more than 650 of Kentucky’s top artisans in a carefully restored 150-year-old-building, buying directly from small family businesses. All items sold in the store are hand made in Kentucky.

“We are so extremely grateful to those who purchase our products,” owner Ann Wingrove shared. “We want to engage with those shoppers and generate an on-going relationship. We’d like for customers to consider buying from their local small businesses year-round.”

Independence Bank and the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce have organized their Local Love campaign for the last five years with events, local business spotlights and creative ways to excite Frankfort residents. With the help of area small businesses, hundreds of reusable shopping bags are filled with exclusive coupons, promotions and the occasional surprise gift card to be passed out to participating shoppers.

Bank location manager Holly Brunson with Suzy Hosley from the Frankfort Chamber spread holiday cheer through their fun-filled social media videos highlighting the activities. While the event has evolved over the years, the message of this mission is still the same — “show Frankfort businesses Local Love.”

“We encourage spending hard earned money where your heart is — and that’s here at home,” Independence Bank President Greg Burton shared. “When gift giving, no matter the special occasion, your generosity would be greatly appreciated by eager Frankfort entrepreneurs.”

While the Local Love campaign is earmarked on the calendar for every November, the impact of its importance should be in the minds of Frankfort residents all year.

It’s the season of romance — so let’s remember to spread some Local Love.