Thursday, August 9, 2012
Everybody has heard about the importance that shopping and dining locally can have on a community. It is the new catchphrase of this decade. However the public still needs to be reminded and the message reinforced on a regular basis. The benefits of small changes in people’s buying habits from national chains to local independent businesses can be monumental to a community’s economy. Dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on a community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.
Studies have also shown that independent businesses in communities with active “buy local” campaigns have experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those located in areas without such initiatives. The apparent message of "let's-support-local-business" is a kind of community booster. But beyond being a feel-good, be-loyal to your neighbor campaign, many economists are taking a closer look at how money flows, and what they're finding shows the profound economic impact of keeping our money in town.
In response to the evidence that communities with strong buy local campaigns experience better results, Summerville DREAM is preparing to launch a new Shop, Dine, and Think Local First Campaign. As part of that campaign, DREAM with Emily and Jim Spearman are sponsoring an art competition to find art from a local artist to be featured on a new poster to promote the Shop, Dine & Think Local First initiative. Emily Spearman, owner of the local shop, The Village Knittery and her husband, Dr. Jim Spearman of Lowcountry Orthopedics and Travel Surgery noticed a particularly attractive poster touting a shop local campaign while on vacation over the holidays. Emily bought the poster and brought it to Summerville DREAM with the offer to commission the artwork for a similar piece for Summerville. Susan Morris suggested that it be opened up to all local artists and get their ideas on how best to represent the idea of shopping locally in Summerville. The Spearmans are generously funding the award of the $250 in DREAM gift certificates (accepted at most local independent businesses and restaurants in Summerville) to the winning submission. The contest began May 4 and entries need to be received by Friday, August 10 at the Summerville DREAM office located in the First Citizens Bank building at 218 S. Main Street.
“We are anxious to come up with a piece of artwork that will communicate the joy of shopping locally in Summerville and we can have it on display in every local business around,” commented Morris. The contest is limited to two-dimensional artwork that can be digitally reproduced. Photography and graphic design are not included in this particular contest. For more information on the contest rules please go to http://dream.carolinakinetic.info/Shop-Local-Poster-Contest