Buying Local Makes Impact on Tehama County

10 Jan

Does buying local really matter? Tehama County business and community leaders believe buying local is so important the fate of our towns depends upon it.

“Buying local has a tremendous impact on the entire community in terms of employment, continued economic development, sales tax revenues, and prosperity. When a person buys a product or service from a locally-owned business, they are helping other businesses in the region at the same time,” said Kathryn Schmitz, CEO of the Job Training Center.

Several studies support Schmitz’s claim. One study showed that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 remains in the local economy; while for every $100 spent at a national chain only $14 stays in the local economy.

Small businesses employ most of America’s workforce, and tend to pay higher wages than chain stores. “At a time of high unemployment, we need our small businesses and family farms to not only survive, but prosper,” said Schmitz.

Charitable organizations also depend upon local businesses prospering. Non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from local business owners than they do from large corporate businesses. “Shopping locally enhances our economy, and spreads good will. We encourage our employees to give back to the community by shopping local since the community provides us with so much throughout the year!” said Kristin Behrens, Marketing and Community Relations Manager of St. Elizabeth Community Hospital.

While the economics of doing business locally is significant, the character businesses bring to a community is just as important. Several studies show that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities with one-of-a-kind businesses and a distinctive character. “It’s the businesses that are unique to our area and out of the ordinary that differentiates us from other communities,” said Kate Grissom, Marketing Director of Rolling Hills Casino. “These businesses make us proud to live here and will help attract tourists and new businesses to the area.”

There is more to buying local than shopping at stores in the area. “It may be convenient to grab a bottle of olive oil manufactured in Italy off the grocery shelf, but it doesn’t support our local economy, and its not as fresh as the bottle you can buy from a Corning olive oil producer such as Lucero’s,” said Schmitz. “Plus when you buy it at Lucero’s, you can taste it first.”

From olive tasting in Corning to wine tasting in Manton to candy tasting in Dairyville, more and more local food producers are making it fun to purchase local products. This is a trend Schmitz, Behrens, Grissom, and others involved in the Tehama County Branding project applaud. “Tehama County is a world-renowned producer of walnuts, olives, wines and fruits. The Branding Project is all about showcasing our bounty to tourists and residents,” said Schmitz.

“The Christmas season is a great opportunity to buy local,” said Behrens. “By doing so, we showcase our local vendors to others, especially if we plan to send gifts to loved ones during the holidays,” she adds.

For residents wanting a meaningful and memorable shopping trip this holiday season as well as places to bring out of own visitors, Grissom recommends taking a tour of Tehama County. For ideas on where to go, visit www.tehamatrail.com.

Press Release by: Kristin Behrens

Tehama County Branding Project at Large Committee

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