To our readers and businesses:

As a Lowcountry business owner who experienced the wrath and aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, I recognize more than ever how important it is to support one another as neighbors and businesses.

I am a staunch supporter of ShopMoreLocal.org, a not-for-profit initiative with a clear mission: Support local businesses.

We all suffered losses, and we must come together to recover and rebuild our community. One way is to encourage consumers to shop local businesses.

ShopMoreLocal.org raises awareness of how shopping local strengthens the community’s economy and social fabric. When money is spent locally, it returns locally as well.

With your help, we will be able to make a tremendous impact on the local economy post-Matthew.

To date, 17 media outlets have committed to more than $ 100,000 of in-kind media support. These include Adams Outdoor, Alpha Media, Apex Media, Bluffton.com, Bluffton Breeze, Fork&Fun, HHIGO.com, La Isla, Marlin Outdoor, Bluffton Monthly, Hilton Head Monthly, Pink Magazine, Vacation Guide, Visitor Map and The Bluffton Sun, The Hilton Head Sun and The Sun City Sun.

If you are a local, independent business owner and want to participate, we encourage you to sign up. This effort is free of charge. Go to www.shopmore local.org/signmeup and fill in your information. It’s that simple.

More than 120 local businesses have already submitted profiles for this four-month initiative.

As a consumer, on the website you will find a list of participating local businesses and pertinent Information about them. You will also be able to purchase items directly from a business through our e-commerce platform.

Your participation as a business and your support as a local consumer is crucial for this effort to succeed. Please join us and say, “Yes, I will make the Lowcountry strong again.”

Together, we can make this happen.

Sincerely,

B.J. Frazier

Publisher, Sun Newspapers