Shop Small This Holiday Season
Posted by Lake Superior Community Partnership on November 19, 2018Happy Thanksgiving week! With the holiday season underway, here in Marquette County we truly have many reasons to be thankful. We are lucky to live in this wonderful community filled with amazing organizations, businesses and people. On behalf of the LSCP, we want to thank all of our partners and stakeholders who continue to assist in economic development in our region. By working together we make Marquette County a great place to live, work, play AND shop! I am sure by now you’ve seen the TV commercials, newspaper ads and social media posts promoting holiday shopping. With so many shopping options out there, I hope you’ll consider spending as much as you can locally this year. This Saturday, November 24, marks the 9th anniversary of the shopping holiday that has become known as Small Business Saturday. This is a great opportunity to get out in the community and support the small businesses that support us! They employ our friends, family and neighbors and have a major impact on our local economy. Consider this, if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy (Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, MI). That is nearly 70% of every dollar spent that will remain in our community! On a larger scale, “America’s 30 million small businesses are the engine of job creation and economic growth in this country, creating nearly two out of every three new jobs in the United States and employing over half the nation’s workforce.” (U.S. Small Business Administration). In Marquette County, there are several programs and incentives that encourage shopping locally. Have you checked out the “Be Local, Buy Local” program sponsored by our local chambers of commerce? To participate it’s as easy as downloading an app on your phone or stopping in the Marquette Chamber of Commerce or the Greater Ishpeming Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce (GINCC) with your local receipts; you will be entered to win gift certificates for local participating businesses! Also, note the gift card program that has been added to the app to help with those “tough to buy for” folks. This is the fourth year of this local shopping and rewards program, which has now reached 2,582 app users! The program’s lifetime stats are as follows, 2,582 users, 10,919 purchases, $682,051.86 in total value of purchases, and $62.46 being the average purchase amount. Nick Steffey, Executive Director of the Marquette Chamber of Commerce, says, “The program has seen great successes during our short time in operation. The current standing for the program has seen significant growth.” Visit belocalbuylocal.today or call the Marquette Chamber of Commerce at (906) 225-1693 or Greater Ishpeming Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce (GINCC) at (906) 486-1111 for more information on the “Be Local, Buy Local” program. The LSCP itself also provides a shop local program called “Key to the County”. All LSCP partner businesses receive “keys” for their staff that offer discounts at over 50 businesses throughout Marquette County! There are discounts on retail, dining and services at a variety of businesses year round. Any LSCP partner is able to provide a discount to other LSCP partners. It is a tangible way to maximize investment by attracting new customers to your place of business without spending additional advertising dollars. “Having a discount in the LSCP’s Key to the County program is great for Lutey’s Heritage Motors because it allows us to help promote shopping with our neighboring local businesses,” says Lutey’s Heritage Motors owner, Phil Lutey. If you need additional keys for your staff or would like your business to be a part of the promotions, simply call our office at (906) 226-6591 or visit our website, www.marquette.org. Here at the LSCP, we are extremely thankful to work with all of these businesses and support their growth. This time of year, when you are planning to step up your shopping game, please remember to support them. Small Business Saturday is just days away and the perfect time to visit some of these shops and restaurants. On behalf of the Lake Superior Community Partnership, we wish you and your family a safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Amy Clickner, CEO, writes a bi-weekly column for the Mining Journal.