by Kyle Swenson
The small business boosters over at COSE have come up with a novel idea for giving the local economy a bit of a jolt: Buy Local Week. The title kind of gives away the plot on this one, but basically the organization is urging Northeast Ohioans to keep their hard-earned dollars in the region next week by shopping at locally owned stores, steering clear of chain restaurants, and buying their drugs homegrown — just the normal everyday things you’d expect.
You can sign up at COSE’s I Buy NEO web site; interested locals are being asked to pledge $100 to regional stores and services from July 3 — 10; those who enlist will get a discount card good for 40 area eateries and attractions.
We know some of you are probably on the fence doubting whether you could actually go a whole week without succumbing to the siren call of a Whooper or basking in the warm fluorescence of Walmart. In that case, COSE has some stats that could change your mind.
“For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the region's tax base,” the site says. “For every $100 spent at a national chain store, only $14 remains in the community.” Also, according to the site, if every person in the region spent a $100 locally, it would mainline a hefty $48 million into the area. Recession, what!
This is the second year the group has sponsored the event; last year 531 peopled pledged, representing an estimated $53,100 of regional business.
We like the idea here, and pat COSE on the back for trying to drum up local business. But really, we’ve got to take issue with this list here, aptly titled “100 Ways to Spend $100 Locally.” Not sure which government think-tank cooked this up, but it’s filled with head-slapping obvious suggestions like “Get fresh meat at a local butcher,” and “Play a game of putt-putt at a local course,” and (our favorite here at Scene) “Hire a party clown.” Really, shoppers? Having trouble thinking up ideas for local buying? There’s a time tested formula: [Insert activity] at [insert local business].