“Buy Local” Helps Businesses And Saves NWI Consumers, too

Chicago recently enacted a new sales tax increase, which is wonderful music to the ears and cash registers of our retail merchants in Northwest Indiana, as NWI chambers of commerce enter the third year of their wonderfully successful “BUY LOCAL” program.

Initiated three years ago by The Times Media Co., NIPSCO and local chambers of commerce, the BUY LOCAL program was implemented on the heels of the worst recession in more than 50 years, and designed to stimulate our local economy. It has three objectives:

1) Educate consumers on the benefits of Buying Local
2) Encourage more traffic to local chamber members
3) Unite local businesses with their chambers
Dollars spent locally with our merchants stay local. American Express contends that for every $100 spent locally, approximately $68 returns immediately to the community in the form of taxes, payroll, and miscellaneous business expenditures.

The same does not hold true however, if you make your purchases online and out of state. The dollars spent online do not reflect any return to your community and/or state.

The regional chambers of commerce BUY LOCAL program encourages residents to support local businesses FIRST when planning your shopping, be it for a new car, holiday gift shopping, or just a new pair of shoes.

Local chambers of commerce have spent considerable dollars marketing the BUY LOCAL program, and our efforts have been very successful, and we appreciate your efforts to support our local merchants and local economy. By the way, Chicago’s new sales tax now stands at 10.25 percent – the highest in the nation. So the next time you want to buy that new SVU, remodel your kitchen, or just sport a new pair of shoes, remember that if you do not BUY LOCAL, the cost of your purchase, plus 10.25 percent of your purchase, will go to the State of Illinois.

Do the math.

Dave Ryan is the executive director of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own. He can be reached at dryan@lakeshorechamber.com or (219) 931-1000.

Every Day Is A Good Day To Say Thanks To A Military Veteran

The wording on the award begins: “The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Sergeant Glen E. Marvin, United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with Company C, Third Tank Battalion, in action on Guam on 26 July 1944.

“Under hostile fire, and a stalled tank in imminent danger of taking a direct hit, Sgt Marvin directed another tank to the location, and while subjecting himself to enemy fire, attached a tow cable and the tank was safely removed. After sustaining a hit, he continued to press the attack, and was hit again by machine gun fire. Seriously wounded, he walked unaided to the aid station. His technical skill, forceful initiative, and inspiring devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

My dad served in the Navy at the same time, and I recall him telling us this story about Sgt. Glen E. Marvin (my Uncle Goog), but until years later, the magnitude of the story. and how it relates to “Saying thanks to a veteran,” never really hit me.

You see, my Uncle Goog came back from the war, worked at several jobs, and eventually ended up in Kentland, where he joined many of his war-time buddies, and raised a family of four.

His war wounds, while never discussed, eventually caught up with him, and he died when he was in his late 30’s, and his oldest son was 10. He gave his life for his country, and left his young wife and a family of four children.

We all know someone who is serving, or has served in the military, so when you see them, just say “Thank you for your service, it means a lot to all of us.”

Dave Ryan is the executive director of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own. He can be reached at dryan@lakeshorechamber.com or (219) 931-1000.