Local shopping campaigns reaping rewards

Many traders associations and industry groups are catching on to the fact that consumers want to support local businesses.

As Indie Bound, a group promoting independent bookstores, says

Consumers in Australia today are aware of the importance of independent businesses and the health of the high street. The growth of farmers markets, the Transition Town movement and many other campaigns show how important it is to consumers to shop locally.

And there’s some other great examples of businesses banding together to help consumers decide where it’s best to spend their money.

Last year in South Australia, retailers are being encouraged to offer customers a special discount or deal, which were advertised free of charge in The Advertiser each Monday. Retailers also receive a ‘Shop in SA’ pack to display in store.

‘Our ‘Shop in SA’ campaign aims to help our local retailers and advertisers by encouraging our consumers to shop SA this Christmas and support the businesses that support our state,’ Sunday Mail editor Megan Lloyd said said. ‘We had a fantastic response to the campaign. So far 850 businesses have signed up and will be offering our readers discounts and deals in the weeks leading up to Christmas,’ Lloyd said in November 2012.

The Bega Valley in southern NSW has also been working with local newspapers to support local businesses.

‘I put this together to ensure the public are aware of the plight of retailers versus Internet,’ Robert Hayson, president of the Combined Bega Valley Chambers of Commerce explained.

They are now aiming to involve schools.

‘We’ve approached the schools in the Bega Valley Shire and they’re coming on board to aid the retailers. They’re enthusiastic to do posters and to help educate the public of the importance of shopping local.’

In the US, The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Local First have partnered to form a two year pilot program to increase awareness of the economic impact of supporting local businesses, while gathering data that could lead to new or improved small business support programs.

‘There is a strong history of successful business entrepreneurialism in this region that has been lost in many other places around the country. We need to retain this culture,’ said Emily Loeks, director of community relations at Grand Rapids Celebration! Cinema and Local First board vice chair. ‘We can do this by naming it, by asking business leaders to share best sustainable business practices with each other and new entrepreneurs and by making the choice more clear to consumers. Local First champions each of these objectives.’

‘Locally owned independent businesses are the foundation of a healthy, vibrant economy,’ MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney said. ‘We are pleased to support Local First’s efforts to strengthen Michigan-based businesses and to grow our regional economies.’

So how are you going to help your local consumers support local businesses? Of course, we can always help! Email us anytime for a consultation.

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