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August 07, 2008
Buy 'Mower/Grow Mower' campaign launched
LEROY, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Wanting to boost the Mower County economy and the quality of life for all residents in our area, the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce has launched a countywide campaign to entice individuals to shop locally.
With the help of nearly 400 chamber members and a host of local retailers, the Chamber announced the "Buy Mower/Grow Mower" slogan, seeking public awareness of the benefits of shopping locally.
"Studies conducted by the University of Minnesota show that over 40 percent of the retail dollars that could be spent in Mower are spent elsewhere," noted Jeff Baldus in a press release, who is also the Austin Chamber president, and the owner of Culber's Restaurant in Austin. "That adds up to a loss of over $134 million taxable sales alone. We want to reverse that trend, and help Mower County and Austin reach our potential."
If the campaign is successful, the end result would be more propering businesses, more job opportunities, more charitable giving and more overall security and well-being.
"We're not asking anyone to spend any more dollars or shop exclusively in Mower County," said Baldus in a recent press release. "That just wouldn't be realistic. We do think (spending 10 percent more lcoally) should be easy, and that people will find they not only will receive great service and value from local businesses, but that they will also save time and fuel."
By spending just 10 percent more in Mower County, the result would be more than $20 million added to the local economy. The press release also pointed out that businesses countywide employ more than 13,000 people, pay property taxes and give millions in donations.
According to Austin Chamber Director Sandy Forstner, he estimates that the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce members alone contribute more than $3 million each year to organizations within Mower County.
"The property taxes they provide also furnish support essential to government services and local schools," stated Forstner. "As these businesses suceed or fail, so does our community."
The campaign will include visuals, such as sales recepts, and advertising in our local papers. The subtheme notes that, "For every local purchase, there's a local purpose."
Committee members of the campaign are asking those interested to "take the pledge!" You can sign up online at ibuymower.com, or by completing a hardcopy registration form, which can be picked up at the LeRoy Independent office. Once you submit your "pledge" you will then be eligible to receive $100 in Chamber Bucks (to be presented once a month) and special offers from participating local businesses.
"We're not going to track whether an individual meets their commitment or not," Forstner noted. "We're just asking you to take a look at your shopping habits, and make a commitment to give Mower County more of your business - not all of the time, but when it makes sense for you. Together, we can build a better county."
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