Chamber of Commerce launches shop-local effort

December 1, 2009

By Staff

Local business leaders debuted the Shop Issaquah program last week, describing the effort as a way to support the economy, promote businesses and emphasize the role commerce plays in the city’s quality of life.Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders organized the program. Shop Issaquah is designed to raise awareness about buying from local merchants and how buying local supports jobs, families and services, as well as the local economy.

“We can make a huge difference by banding together, supporting each other and promoting our community and our businesses,” Tony Rehn, chamber board member and Evergreen Ford general manager, said in a news release.

Organizers said the program would also provide additional exposure for Issaquah businesses, in order to attract new customers. Shop Issaquah was formed with input from business leaders, and support from city officials.

“The success of our local economic recovery depends in large part on the success of our businesses,” chamber CEO Matt Bott said in a news release. “Businesses provide jobs, commerce, tax revenue, livelihoods for our citizens, critical services such as public safety, parks and recreation support, etc.”

As part of the program, chamber officials will develop a Web site to help local businesses showcase special offers to consumers. They will also develop pieces to communicate the role businesses play in aiding economic recovery and supporting the community. Other tools under development by chamber leaders include ways for Issaquah consumers to assess the amount they spend outside the community and encourage them to return the spending to Issaquah.

“The chamber hopes that this information will help encourage consumers to rediscover the outstanding goods, services, products and businesses we have right in our backyard,” Bott said. “If this program helps save even a few jobs, a few small businesses or simply brings consumers a greater awareness of the options available locally, we will count it as a major success.”

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