Be a Leader: Buy Local

Andrew Rand, Peoria County Board

Each November, we look forward to a new class of 40 Leaders Under Forty because we enjoy reading the inspirational stories of these local men and women who deserve praise for their accomplishments. It is a refreshing reminder of youthful investment in our community: young individuals and families who make their living and build their lives in central Illinois. And just as they invest in the community, so too must local government: to ensure a sustainable community with a healthy economy, safe neighborhoods and quality services.

The Multiplier Effect
At the core of sustainable communities are locally owned businesses that impart a positive multiplier effect on the local economy. The multiplier effect quantifies the value that buying in Peoria County has on our economy by calculating the direct impact of businesses spending money locally to operate, the indirect impact of those dollars being recirculated within the county, and the induced impact as employees and business owners spend their incomes in the county as well. The money reinvested in the community by consumers who repeatedly purchase local goods and services multiplies exponentially with every purchase.

For example, $100 spent in Peoria County, then recirculated 10 times throughout the county, has the same impact on the local economy as one $1,000 expenditure. This recirculation, however, has the added benefit of increasing revenue and income opportunities for local businesses, because the $100 is spent in as many as 10 locations. Money stops circulating in the local economy when a purchase is made outside the local economy: buying online or across county boundaries exports consumer dollars outside Peoria County. Money spent in this manner does not recirculate, nor multiple ten-fold to benefit the local economy.

The other side of the reinvestment coin is the sales tax. Sales tax revenue supports local government in the community in which you shop. Shopping where you live helps fund your police and fire protection districts, code enforcement, courts, and any number of other public services. Shopping in another community supports their government services.

Live and Shop in Peoria County
As we enter the holiday season, Peoria County has many opportunities for shoppers to engage in buying local. A buy-local campaign's success relies on buy-in from consumers; therefore, we invite you to participate in a focus group to help identify factors that motivate people to shop locally. On November 10th, "Let's Talk Shop" with Peoria County's economic development staff and discuss the most effective ways to encourage residents to shop locally.

Then, for the second consecutive year, Peoria County and the City of Peoria will partner with local chambers of commerce and business owners to encourage residents to "Live & Shop Peoria County" over the Thanksgiving holiday. While shopping in Peoria County on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, county residents can enter to win a local gift card package valued at $100 by posting a picture of themselves shopping local to fb.com/liveshoppeoriacounty. Local shopping selfies can also enter to win by posting to a personal Twitter or Instagram site with the hashtag #LiveShopPeoriaCounty. Multiple winners will be drawn daily between November 26th and 29th. For more information on the Live & Shop Peoria County Thanksgiving campaign, visit metropeoriagov.com.

Whether buying gifts for the holidays, cards for Mother’s Day or flags for the Fourth of July, shopping local year-round creates new jobs, nurtures a stable economy and guarantees quality public services. Let's give this year's group of young leaders—and the next generation's leaders—the sustainable future they deserve by buying local. iBi

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