Businesses in places with a shop local initiative reported an average sales increase of 7 percent in 2013, compared to 2.3 percent for businesses elsewhere, according to the most recent findings from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in its 2014 Independent Business Survey. The survey gathered data from 2,602 independent, locally owned businesses across all 50 states.
Here on the Middle Peninsula, as well as the Northern Neck and Williamsburg areas, locally owned and operated businesses have benefitted from a Shop Local Day grassroots campaign that was launched in the fall of 2012 by Chesapeake Bank.
The fourth Shop Local Day event is scheduled for Saturday, May 3. Working closely with area chambers of commerce, Chesapeake Bank is reaching out to merchants, encouraging them to participate by displaying “The Buck Stays Here” decal in shop windows and offering special incentives to shoppers.
“Community banks are only as good as the communities they serve,” Chesapeake Bank president and CEO Jeff Szyperski said. “We got behind Shop Local because we’re primarily a small business bank. We felt it was hugely important to help facilitate a shopping locally initiative in our service regions that would benefit merchants and help create a stronger tax base. When money is recirculated in our community, our local economy prospers. That means more jobs, better schools, and greater support for our police and fire departments.”