Buy local, boost the economy
The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce is part of a grass roots push currently under way to spark economic recovery at the local level.
The coalition, representing Florida businesses, media and elected leaders, has united on a campaign that urges Florida citizens to plant the seeds of economic recovery in their own back yards by spending their money close to home.
According to Rick McAllister, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, Florida's gross domestic product represents 75 percent of consumer spending.
"Our entire economy rides on how much Florida consumers consume and more importantly, where they consume it," he says. "We can recover faster than expected if we convince Floridians to do their spending close to home and support the businesses that are invested in their communities and their state."
Backers of this "Backyard Economics" campaign include the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Chamber, the Florida League of Mayors, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Florida TaxWatch, the nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute and government watchdog.
"Backyard Economics is a great, voluntary program that encourages people to buy from Florida companies," says Mark Wilson, Florida Chamber president and CEO. "When Floridians know about the positive economic impacts to our state from buying local, they're more likely to make a purchase here at home."
Another industry impacted by the current economy is the media, which is helping to spread the backyard economics message. A number of radio, television and newspapers outlets, which rely on advertisements from local retailers and businesses, have cut staff and production in the face of shrinking advertising revenues.
Like all of the campaign partners, the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber will be working to mobilize its members to join the cause and educate consumers. From member newsletters, magazines and Web sites to community presentations, newspaper ads and billboards – the grass roots approach will pool partners' resources to deliver a vital message: Local spending works!
Logo marketing event scheduled for March 10
The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce invites its member businesses and organizations to display their best marketing items at its annual Logo Marketing Luncheon on March 10 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at East Bay Country Club, 702 Country Club Drive. There will be a contest for the most innovative entry. Each person who submits a marketing item will also have the opportunity to promote their business/organization.
Cost is $15 for members who preregister by March 6; $20 after deadline and for all non-members. To register, call (727) 584-2321 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee An'Networking on tap for March 5
The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Coffee An'Networking, a business leads program, on March 5 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Beef O'Brady's, Pinellas Shopping Center, 841 West Bay Drive.
A networking exercise entitled "Two Truths and a Lie" and door prizes will be featured. Cost is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. To register, contact the chamber at (727) 584-2321 or e-mail email@example.com.
Free program explores business planning
The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce and S.C.O.R.E. (Service Corps of Retired Executives) will hold a free session entitled "Planning for Your Business" on March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Jenkins Wing of the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive.
The workshop is intended for aspiring entrepreneurs and for business owners who have never prepared a business plan. Participants will learn what the planning process involves and will each receive a business plan worksheet package.
Although the program is free, advance registration is required. Contact Charlie Cronk at the chamber at (727) 584-2321 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.