Buy Local Fayette enjoys success in third year
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The Buy Local Fayette program, begun to encourage area residents to shop locally to help the economic growth of small businesses in their own towns, is marking its third year and enjoying success.
“The goal of Buy Local is to support local communities and encourage neighbors to buy local,” said Robert Junk, Local Economy manager, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council. “We want to help to keep our little towns viable.”
The program offers participants an opportunity to not only shop locally, but receive discounts and incentives through businesses that participate in the program.
New Buy Local cards were issued this year and will be good for three years, eliminating the need to purchase a card yearly, officials noted.
The program helps local businesses and Fayette, in general, keep a larger percentage of money spent in the county.
“When you buy local, 73 percent of your dollar stays here in Fayette County, verses 43 percent when you buy from a big box store,” said Michael Jordan, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council executive director. “Just that difference, those additional dollars, help the local economy and that is what is important. We want to help the local businesses grow in any way that we can.”
The new Buy Local website was demonstrated this week as well as samples shown of the new Buy Local cards, which can be used at dozens of participating businesses and services now part of the ever-growing program.
In addition, Joseph Segilia, Penn State Fayette director of Continuing Education, announced the campus will accept the Buy Local cards for discounts on certain noncredit continuing education classes offered.
“This is now a real community-based effort,” Segilia said.
Getting ready for the upcoming summer months and farmers markets, many of which are program participants, Buy Local hopes to bring even more interest to the area.
“We want our small towns back, and you as a community have that ability to mold and shape these futures,” Junk said. “When you are shopping and when you are looking at where to spend your money, stop and look to where you want to spend your money. Where you spend your money has an economic impact on your community.”
Visit www.buylocalfayette.org for more information on the program.
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
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