Local brewery’s ‘Shop Small’ campaign rallies El Pasoans to support local business

In an effort to help revitalize small businesses that have endured financial struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, a local brewery is calling on El Pasoans to participate in “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!

“We’ve been open four months, and we’ve enjoyed a wonderful following of loyal customers – but there’s no question that small businesses in El Paso have taken a huge financial hit during the pandemic,” said Fred Saucedo, brewmaster of Craft, Rhythm & Brews, a family-owned brewery located at 1301 Texas Avenue that is spearheading the “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” campaign.

“Some of our fiercest supporters have been other small-business owners in El Paso. So we thought, ‘What better way to thank them than to give that help right back to them?’” added Fred. “This campaign is a win-win for everyone, and it gives El Pasoans a great opportunity to save money, buy local, and help Centro San Vicente serve our community.”

Along with the “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” push, organizers have come up with a hashtag as well – #Loco4Local915,” – all part of the six-week campaign aimed at driving more traffic to locally owned businesses and raising money for charity.

Organizers share that the premise of the campaign is simple: Buy a distinctive “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” T-shirt, then wear it to any of the participating small businesses anytime between March 15-April 30 to receive special discounts on items and/or services.

Throughout the campaign, shoppers who buy the T-shirts, take a selfie at participating businesses, and post on social media by tagging the business and using the hashtag #Loco4Local915 will be entered into a drawing for a grand-prize basket featuring dozens of items donated by the participating small businesses.

With businesses that range from a hair salon to a car care center to an axe-throwing range to a variety of restaurants and bars, savvy El Paso shoppers have six weeks to proudly wear their “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” T-shirts, getting the most bang for their buck and – at the same time – bolster the local economy and contribute toward Centro San Vicente, which operates family clinics that offer affordable health care to underserved populations.

A list of participating businesses and their discounts can be viewed via this link – and the site includes an order form for El Pasoans to purchase the “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” T-shirts ($20 for sizes S-1X, $25 for 2X-4X) that qualify them for the discounts.

Once the T-shirts have been purchased, participants will be notified of the date to pick them up from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday at Craft, Rhythm & Brews, located at 1301 Texas Avenue.

Proceeds from “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” T-shirt sales – as well fees paid by small businesses to participate in the campaign – will cover the cost of organizing the campaign, and the remainder will be donated to Centro San Vicente, where the majority of patients either have no health insurance or whose medical costs aren’t fully covered by insurance.

The campaign donation will help Centro San Vicente complete renovations to its main clinic on Alameda Avenue.

To wrap up the campaign, representatives from the “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” businesses will be invited to a mixer on Saturday, May 1, at Craft, Rhythm & Brews to enjoy a complimentary pint of craft beer, the presentation of a check to Centro San Vicente, and the opportunity to network with other El Paso business owners.

Fred’s wife Susan – who owns the brewery with sister-in-law Luz Salazar – said the campaign has taken on a life of its own with the enthusiastic response they’ve received from local businesses. And she is hopeful El Paso shoppers will realize the power they have to lift up small businesses by participating in the “Hey Y’all…Shop Small!” campaign.

“We started this campaign because we wanted to help as many people as we can,” Susan added. “This isn’t just about our brewery. It’s about bringing El Paso together to help El Pasoans not just survive, but thrive, despite the challenges of this pandemic. Support local business – and local business will support you!”