Earth Day, April 22nd, brought with it an exciting announcement from the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council: the Buy Local Network for all businesses in Fayette County is now officially operating! Bob Junk and Jessica Steimer of Fay-Penn, and Val J. Laub of the Herald Standard, presented the material at an outdoor press conference in Connellsville’s Yough Park.
The program unites local, independently-owned businesses of varying types and sizes in an overarching network of discounts and incentives to encourage customers to choose local stores over generic, big-box chains. “This is a new approach to an old concept of one another in the community supporting local businesses,” Laub said.
Buying in the neighborhood recirculates community dollars three-fold, and often supports agriculture and manufacturing in the region as opposed to halfway around the world. That’s a heck of a carbon footprint reduction for each dollar spent.
Customers present a Buy Local card at participating businesses, in order to receive product discounts and the chance to enter monthly raffles to win goods from Buy Local Network businesses.
To join the network, businesses commit to these discounts (upwards of $25) while also donating monthly to a community reinvestment fund (upwards of $10); community groups can then apply for this funding through any business involved in the Buy Local Network.
Fay-Penn covers promotions, advertising, and card distribution – a business simply has to buy-in, put up the Buy Local window cling, and begin accepting card-bearing customers!
As with any network, its strength is in the number of businesses engaged. If you’re considering how to connect with your community in a multitude of ways, joining this program is an effective move.
Already 60 + businesses are engaged and thousands of cards distributed. Fay-Penn works closely with the Herald Standard to circulate Buy Local announcements and updates.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about joining the network. A possibility for the network to extend into other counties may exist in the future, so stay tuned if your business lies outside of Fayette County…