Shopping locally, has unfortunately slowed down tremendously, due mainly to our ease of technology and of shopping online. It seems that people forget that if they shop locally, the money goes back into our area, not all across the country. However, shopping locally whether it be in the Portsmouth area or the county has its perks. There are things one can get here and not anywhere else and one also gets a more personal touch here than out of town, just to mention a few of those perks.
The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce is launching a local purchasing challenge to all area businesses. The Chamber is challenging businesses to make one simple decision, that will transform our local economy, without spending any more money than they currently spend.
“The challenge is simple” says Lisa Carver, Executive Director of the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are asking area businesses, our members as well as non-members, to simply reallocate purchasing dollars for products and services from a non-local vendor to a local one. Again, not spending more than they’ve already budgeted, but their company can be a part of creating a significant economic impact in Scioto County.”
Carver explains this just dictates that local purchasing, means more money in the local economy. It means more money to keep jobs and also create jobs, that are badly needed in our local area.
The Chamber also would like to see, the individual shopper to change or break their habit of always shopping on-line or out of town, because this too, will boost the local economy by contributing the money locally. Carver said that if each family or individual would challenge themselves to shop even a little bit more locally, this would help our local businesses and the whole community in general.
“We have a couple of local office supply stores that can pretty much offer the same thing and have free shipping with the price being very similar to those bigger companies. They have sales reps come around, they offer delivery and most of the time, their prices are competitive.There is a lot of personal services that local companies can offer that those big companies can not. For example, like if one shopped at Bihl’s office supplies in Portsmouth, if one only needed say a few of those large packaging envelopes or something similar, they can and will sell one whatever amount one needs and one would not have to buy bulk for a small need,” says Carver.
She also mentioned that any product in the world, like for the local restaurants and how many of them are getting their food outside of our area, one might see a food truck come in from Columbus, and we here in our area, have Valley Wholesale Foods, that can get any restaurant about any food that they may need.
And for say services, what if someone is buying their insurance from say Cincinnati or other places, most local agents, can probably sell the same thing for the same quoted price. It is easy to get frustrated sometimes with local business and say that people here, don’t have anywhere to shop, but for our day to day needs, locally we have just about everything we need right here.
“This is what we want, we want the local businesses to challenge themselves to try to get what they can here locally, whether its a service they are getting, or say a company was getting a fleet of automobiles, are they getting those automobiles serviced locally? Maybe, they have them done out of town, like they have a contract with someone. We want them to think of doing that here locally,” said Carver.
She even mentioned that someone might feel they have had a bad experience with a local business, and most people have one time or another, but maybe it’s time to mend those relationships and say give them another chance. Possibly talk to them about the incident from before, and let them know what happened and see if they can make sure that doesn’t happen to them again.
If one is getting a better price or service out of town, possibly talk to a local business and see if they can meet this price or be very close in that. Maybe they would be willing to give an adjustment on price. Now the Chamber, does not want customers and businesses to lose money, but just try to see what they can do to improve spending locally.
The Chamber challenge will begin with the first quarter of 2018. Businesses are asked to take a pledge to reallocate purchasing dollars by filling out a form with their pledged amount. Businesses will be recognized in various ways , however, their actual pledge amount will not be disclosed. “On a quarterly basis we will give an update, not giving dollar amounts, but we do want to list that the businesses have pledged to spend a certain amount and give an update on how that challenge is going and at the same time, showing what a difference it can make,” Carver said of their challenge.
The Chamber is hoping that if they get enough local business back in the area, the local businesses may have to hire local people and that too will help out the people here locally. The goal is to keep that money local and increase the business here, that hopefully in a roundabout way will keep jobs here. They also want to, of course, help their member businesses, but also help out any of the local businesses by bringing in the money.
Carver stated, “this all kind of started when they had the shop small Saturday and that is a great initiative to recognize small businesses and to establish a day to support those small businesses, The Chamber of Commerce is all about small businesses, that is what makes up most of our membership, but that we want this to be more of a support everyday, to encourage people to possibly change their habits to shop local, shop small, shop Scioto County. We are excited to see how many we can get to participate and then the money amount, that we can get back in the area.
Carver also wanted to remind businesses and everyone in Scioto County, that The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, means this entire area, not just Portsmouth. Sometimes, this has been misconstrued and many people have no idea that they are speaking of covering the entire county, not just the city of Portsmouth.
Shop locally, encourage local businesses to shop locally, and this challenge given by the Chamber, could be a monumental success for everyone in our local area.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928