As a chamber director I am constantly amazed at what the Norwalk area businesses have to offer. From dog grooming to custom apparel and even granite countertops. There are so many services and products produced and sold here locally. When you stay at a hotel and eat breakfast you probably will be consuming something made right here from La Quercia prosciutto to Michael Foods omelettes or fruit and veggies packaged and distributed from Capital City Fruit and Produce Innovations. Even your healthcare needs are covered with local doctors, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists and now a dermatologist … all here.
All these great local offerings and yet businesses still struggle to connect to local consumers. We have business owners bending over backwards to get your business, but shoppers still reach for the convenience of online two-day shipping or driving into the metro. I wonder if people knew all that is offered in person or online locally would they spend more in Warren County? In a sea of overwhelming advertising and social media offers local businesses struggle to pop to the top against bigger advertising dollars. How can you find and support local business?
You can help with these four easy tips.
1. Tell them how you found it. When shopping with a local retailer let them know how you found them whether it was an ad, social media or a flyer. This information helps them decide where to most effectively spend their limited marketing budget.
2. Spend local a little each week. The businesses here are not asking for everyone to go drain their savings and buy out the store, but little purchases on a regular basis help our local economy go farther than making one purchase a year.
3. Share the local story or service experience. “We had such a great experience,” or “Isn’t this great it’s made here locally” are great conversation starters and also a great way to promote your local businesses. Sharing a story goes a long way to help others to remember to purchase local next time they are ready to buy.
4. Do a quick check before you shop next. Go to the chamber’s online directory and see if there is a local business that offers what you are seeking. On average 67 cents of every dollar you spend locally stays local. The more we support and shop local the longer our hometown area will thrive. That’s worth the extra effort. Don’t you think?
- Lucinda Sperry, NACC Executive Director