Craig businesses offer incentives to shop local – Business Buzz | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig businesses offer incentives to shop local – Business Buzz

JoBeth Tupa/For Craig Press

Shop small signs and shop local welcome mats invite customers to shop the many small businesses in Craig.

CRAIG — Efforts are underway to promote shopping locally in Craig, which local business owners say is what makes a strong local business climate.

"The effect that small businesses have on the local economy is huge. Without local support, we wouldn't be able to sponsor local sports or nonprofits,” said Jay Oxley, owner of TLC Carpet One Floor and Home and board member of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership. "It allows me to hire more people, to provide jobs."

One program that's embraced this movement is the Downtown Business Association's Locals Love You More campaign. The idea came from another small town, where, through concentrated efforts over a year, more than $1 million of retail spending was kept within the community. Through the campaign, when customers patronize any local participating business, they keep the receipts. Once customers have collected $250 in receipts, they enter them into a drawing for prizes at KS Kreations or Downtown Books.

"Businesses are seeing repeat customers asking for their receipts so they can participate," said Karen Brown, president of DBA. "It makes the people think about shopping locally and to look here first before looking other places."

The current contest began Oct. 1 and will continue through Dec. 31. DBA hosts the program several times each year. The drawing for the grand prize will be held Jan. 3, and winners do not need to be present to win.

The grand prize in the Locals Love You More contest is $250 in Spree Bucks, which the Craig Chamber of Commerce sells as another way to promote shopping locally. Spree Bucks can be purchased dollar-for-dollar and used at nearly every business in Craig, offering a way to promote local shopping by buying them as gifts, employee bonuses or even for everyday purchases.

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The Chamber of Commerce has also rolled out its "Home Grown" marketing campaign to share the story of the impacts of shopping at local businesses.

The impacts of such promotions is evidenced by The 3/50 Project, a study that demonstrates the way money circulates with local spending.

"For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures," according to the350project.net. "If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online, and nothing comes home."

Kevin Oxley, vice president of TLC Carpet One Floor and Home, said those impacts are felt over and over by the business owners, who live and work alongside the customers.

"It's a trickle-down effect that defines what the community is at its core," he said. "We're the people that live and work next to you."

For more information about Locals Love You More, call KS Kreations at 824-2151.

Spree Bucks may be purchased at the Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way. For more information, call 970-824-5689 or visit craig-chamber.com.