- BY ANA RISANO || Staff Writer
- Dec 15, 2022 Updated Dec 15, 2022
N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper visited the downtown business district of Southern Pines Thursday to spend a little money and goodwill for his “shop local” message in the wake of the Dec. 3 power grid attacks here.
The Coopers stopped at The Country Bookshop on Northwest Broad Street to spread the word that Moore County businesses need help after being dark for four days earlier this month because of the shooting attacks that heavily damaged two power transmission substations.
“We wanted to come today to tell people all across North Carolina that we support small businesses and that they should come to Southern Pines and do a little Christmas shopping,” Gov. Cooper said at the bookshop, which is owned by The Pilot newspaper. “I’ve already done it myself, and I have to admit that I bought some stuff for myself.”
He spoke with store manager Kimberly Daniels-Taws about the community and how “truly, truly fantastic” it is that retailers are getting an influx of shoppers who want to support them after the substation attacks.
“Our community is stepping up,” Daniels-Taws said. “It matters to the people who live here to have the town that we have and be able to have the Christmas parade … that happens because locally owned businesses make it happen.”
Cooper also acknowledged the extended hardship for local businesses the last few years because of the pandemic, and how, just as they were getting back on their feet, a power outage took business away during their busiest season.
While at the bookstore, the Coopers looked at myriad items, including “The World’s Longest Licorice Rope” by N.C. writer Matt Myers, and Christmas-themed odds and ends.
Kristin Cooper said Southern Pines “has always been a great place to shop” with its “unique” local businesses.
“It’s an easy ask for me: ‘do you want to go do some economic development?’ We love to do that when we visit towns.”
Before coming to the bookshop, she said the couple dropped in at R. Riveter a few doors down, where she bought a vintage red and green plaid skirt — perfect to be “rolled out at some Christmas parties.”
“We know that people here have taken it on the chin after the substation shooting, having lost power for four nights,” Gov. Cooper said. “The spirit of the people of Moore County shines through.”
Contact Ana Risano at (910) 585-6396 or email@example.com.