When you think of community, what comes to mind? Schools? Businesses? Neighbors? While those things are definitely very important to community, the next time you think about that question the Chewelah Chamber of Commerce would like you to think money. That’s right - cold hard cash. Let’s face it, money makes the world go ‘round and it can keep our community strong.
With that in mind, Chewelah Chamber is kicking off our “think Local” campaign and we ask for your support. What does think Local mean? It is simple, really. Our campaign is to encourage our residents to think local first by considering shopping at businesses in Chewelah before heading out of town. Whatever you might need – groceries, gas, coffee, food, gifts, etc. – think local first to save time and money, plus help strengthen your community. We understand that there will be times when you go
outside the community to do your shopping, but all we ask is that you consider staying in Chewelah first when you have the opportunity to support our local businesses who give so much to our community.
Michael H. Shuman, author of Going Local, said it best: “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers.” By supporting local businesses, you are supporting our community. You are helping to create more jobs for our residents and more income that stays right here in Chewelah.
Janette Slaughter, Chewelah resident and Team Lead and Customer Service at Norco, Inc. in downtown Chewelah, explains what she believes shopping local really means.
“A vibrant community depends on neighbors supporting neighbors. Shopping locally keeps tax revenue in the community and allows businesses to grow providing better jobs so that citizens can make a living in the community where they live. That connects everyone in a way that encourages involvement in community service,” Slaughter said.
“At Norco it allows our business to grow so we can provide more services with better technology so people can stay in their homes longer with a more fulfilling life,” Slaughter explained about how local shopping affects her job.
IndependentWeStand.org reports that over 10,000 small businesses open every week in the United States and small businesses account for 65% of all new jobs employing 77 million Americans. A concept as simple as every American consumer shifting just $10 a month in spending to independent, locally owned businesses could generate billions in revenue and create thousands of new jobs into local economies, according to the group.
They continue to report that 89% of consumers agree that independent businesses contribute positively to local economies and that independent retailers return three times more to local economies.
“Every penny spent here, strengthens our economy by supporting our local businesses, who in turn, support our local community, organizations, activities, and events. Let’s keep it local, folks,” said Diane Evans, former owner of Gentle Dentistry for 20-plus years.
As you think about where to shop for your family and friends this holiday season as well as for future birthdays, anniversaries, etc., we hope you remember the following: Shopping at a locally owned business in your community means you have better chances to find that one-of-a-kind, unique gift for that special someone while you support the talented artists and craftsman who take great pride in their work. Another advantage to shopping local is less stress.
“Anyone who shops local can attest to better customer service, unique products, and less stressful lines. Shopping local is a better experience,” said Kevin Herda, Chewelah resident and owner of Valley Drug Co.
The Chamber would also encourage our residents to think Local with regard to our businesses that offer great services right here in town. From a variety of doctors’ offices and hair salons to full-service garages and home improvement services to insurance companies, Chewelah local businesses can take care of your every need. We have a unique community with incredible coffee shops and restaurants that offer a variety of different menu choices right here in Chewelah. Not to mention the fact that we have our own golf course, ski resort, hospital, casino, and hotels that brings people to our community. In summary, we really are the small town community that has it all. Why would you go anywhere else?
If you are looking for additional ways to help support our think Local campaign, we encourage you to purchase Chamber Bucks at the Chamber office to give as gifts. Whether you are an individual or business owner, Chamber Bucks make great gifts for any time of the year and what a great gift to receive that allows that person to go to any Chamber Business Member to buy something they want or need. In return, they are keeping it local.
Some of you may remember over the last two years the Chamber has held our Small Business Saturday contest and encouraged you to stay local that day by going around to the participating businesses and getting a stamp from each business in order to be entered into a drawing for Chamber Bucks. This year the Chamber is still having a contest, but we are changing things up a little bit in order to give you more shopping days as well as a chance to win $100 in Chamber Bucks. Our “Thanks To You” contest will start the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, November 28, and run through Sunday, December 7. Please see our ad in next week’s edition of The Independent newspaper for the specifics.
Submitted by Chewelah Chamber of Commerce