The Chamber recently announced its, “Chamber Challenge” for the 2018 holiday season. “Sometimes it helps to give people ideas for specific things that they can do to help,” said Tricia Maple, Chamber president. “So rather than just promoting the overall concept of buying locally this holiday season, we came up with a simple list of three action items.”
The first is to challenge yourself to purchase at least one fourth of your holiday gifts locally. Seek out and explore our local businesses, think outside the box for unique items and if you are purchasing gift cards, buy them from a local business. And if you must purchase gift cards to a national chain, purchase them at a local grocery store. Those dollars will still be kept somewhat local.
Second, patronize a business that you’ve never been to before. From downtown Steubenville to Hollywood City Center, Toronto, Mingo, Richmond and everywhere in between, there is no doubt a new (or long time) business that you’ve never been to. Make it a point to seek out at least one and make a purchase, meet the owner or manager and give them a chance to earn your repeat business.
Last, if you are headed out of town for any reason, gas up at a local gas station and eat locally before you leave. By filling your tank and your belly locally (and on a regular basis) you’re pumping money into the local economy.
Buying locally just makes good sense and the holidays are a great time to start making it a daily habit. “I say it all the time but it’s worth repeating”, Maple continued. “We can’t expect our local businesses to support us, our kids’ activities and sports teams, our churches and charities, our events and fundraisers and then not support them when making a purchase. It’s unlikely that Amazon is going to give you a gift card for your spaghetti dinner door prize table and doubtful that a Pittsburgh business is going to buy an ad in your school’s football program. Support those who support you and think local first.”