Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Buy Local Support

The Stokes County Board of Commissioners passsed a "Buy Local" Proclamation and it was signed on September 12 (see above). The Commissioners understand, as do I, that we must support local businesses for Stokes County to grow and thrive. I will be taking the campaign to all the municipalities in the county in the next few weeks as well as to anyone else that will stop and listen to the message. Help spread the word and stop by the Stokes EDC Booth at KingFest to sign your "Buy Local" Pledge. You can make a difference.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Think Stokes First

The Stokes County Economic Development Commission (EDC) along with assistance from the King Chamber of Commerce and the Walnut Cove Main Street merchants are embarking on a “Buy Local” campaign for Stokes County. The campaign, to be tagged “Think Stokes First” is intended to raise the awareness of why making purchase of goods and services is important to not only the businesses in Stokes County but for our residents as well.

Let’s start the conversation with a number: $397,030,630. That is the estimated gap or amount of retail purchases made by Stokes county residents (in this case residents includes businesses located in the county) outside of the borders of the county or 62% of all retail purchases. Why should this concern you, you ask? There are many reasons but the most important are:
• Sales tax is now reimbursed to counties based on where purchases are made, not on the population of the county. When you make a purchase outside of the county, your are in effect supporting the economic health of those counties, not where you live
• Choosing to make your purchases outside of the county takes away revenue from local businesses that are the heart and soul of the community. These are your friends and neighbors who support your schools, churches and local charities. If you don’t support them, they can’t stay in business and we all suffer
• Making a special trip outside the county to make a purchase probably costs you money. If you have a 40 mile round trip to make a purchase you should add at least $20 to the price of your purchase (IRS allows .555/mile so you can consider this as your break-even rate) plus the value of your time it take to make the trip, your $100 purchase suddenly cost the equivalent of $135, not much of a saving, is it.
We know that it isn’t as simple as this, a large percentage of our residents work outside the county and there are many products that we have less than an adequate supply. That is okay, we do not expect to capture the majority or even a large minority of these sales but think about this: a change of 5% would mean an additional $19,000,000 in revenue to businesses in the county and a significant increase in sales tax revenue. Before you make your next purchase, Think Stokes First, it will make a difference.