Supporting locally owned businesses goes hand-in-hand with supporting the local economy; with the launch of the 9th annual Buy Local Book and mobile app Local First Vermont makes it easier for Vermonters to invest in their communities. Locally owned and operated businesses keep Vermont downtowns vital by employing local workers, generating tourism, providing recreation and cultural opportunities, and of course, investing their earnings with other local businesses such as banks, farms, manufacturers, print shops, daycares, business service providers, and more.
Onion River Sports supported downtown Montpelier as its staple bike shop for over 44 years before closing its doors in 2017, which was a blow to the city’s economy. Kip Roberts, who was the store manager at the time of closing, and his wife Jen refused to let a once vibrant shop in their city become another empty storefront. With the help of community crowd funding, they were able to re-open the bike shop as Onion River Outdoors.
According to Local First Vermont, For every dollar spent at a corporate chain retailer, only .15 cents is reinvested back into the state economy. However, for every dollar a shopper spends at a locally owned business, .45 cents is reinvested back into the state economy.
State Treasurer, Beth Pearce, also understands the impact local investment in our communities: To date over $33 million has been obligated to projects in the areas of housing, energy, transportation, municipal infrastructure, and post secondary financing through the Treasurer’s 10% in Vermont Program.
“Local business owners and their employees are the backbone of our communities; they care passionately about their products, and the owners often go above and beyond to support their employees,” Said Lt. Governor Zuckerman in support of the Local First Vermont Buy Local Book.
Onion River Outdoors and ROAM are a few of the over 100 participating Vermont-owned businesses in the 9th edition of the Buy Local Book and Mobile app which contain over $3,000 in coupon savings, and a resource guide that promotes the importance of shopping at locally owned businesses. The mission of Local First Vermont is to enhance the economic, human, and natural vitality of Vermont communities by promoting the importance of locally owned and independent businesses.
Local First Vermont is a Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Program. “Though it’s great to save money when you shop using the Buy Local Book and App, you are actually doing much, much more. Each time you shop locally, you help create local jobs, strong communities, and a more resilient local economy,” said VBSR Executive Director, Jane Campbell.