“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.