Phoenix Mayor and Council urge shoppers to spend at home

[Source: Colton Shone, KTAR] — Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has declared next week “Buy Local Week” in an effort to jump-start the economy.  Kimber Lanning, founder of Local First Arizona, hopes the mayor’s action will get people to shop at mom and pop stores to help them get through the current recession.  “For every $100 you spend in a local business, roughly $42 recirculates in that community,” Lanning said.  “For the same $100 spent in a national chain, only $13 stays.”

[The mayor’s declaration was made at a press conference this morning at the Central and Washington Light Rail Stop in downtown Phoenix.  Joining the Mayor were Members of Council Michael Johnson, Michael Nowakowski, Tom Simplot, and Greg Stanton (all of whom purchased something from a locally-owned business before attending the event).  Nearly 100 local business owners and interested citizens also were in attendance.]

Lanning said local shops often spend for local services.  “The local businesses tend to have local accountants, local attorneys, local sign makers.  All those things are outsourced by national chains.”  She added, “There was a new study done two weeks ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that showed that, for every 10% of consumer spending they shifted toward local, they created over 1,000 jobs.  And, conversely, for every 10% they shifted toward national, they eliminated 1,000 jobs.”

The city, already facing a projected $250 million budget deficit, will be in worse shape if people don’t shop local, Lanning said.  “Our pools, our libraries, our parks, our fire department will no longer have any money because all the money will be in the pockets of the shareholders in distant states.”

The city is not trying to boot out the big national retailers, but just keep the mom’s and pop’s competitive, she said.  “We’re trying to level the playing field.  Every great city has a good balance of big and small.  Even if just one in five times when you set out, you deliberately go to a local retailer, a local restaurant, then you’re actually doing something positive for your local community,” she said.

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