Straight talk: 'Buy local: Save your job'

In tough economic times, it might be hard to come up with anything more visceral than this appeal from a Central Virginia businesswoman: "Buy local. Save your job."

It's a slogan so powerful that it's been attracting attention since its last-year unveiling, and it's the brainchild of a local business owner.

"I want tax dollars staying in Albemarle," says Nancy Vetter, vice president of PrintSource, a printing and marketing company located on Berkmar Drive.

Vetter says she was inspired to put her message into the iconic European automobile oval sticker format when she saw yet another customer go online to order out-of-state printing services.

"Spending money in California doesn't help here," says Vetter.

She surmises that many people just don't realize how online ordering can yank money from the local economy. And for many younger people, online is the first place they go when making a purchase.

"My daughter says toner is $3 cheaper in New Jersey," says Vetter, who notes that when one adds in shipping costs, online isn't always cheaper.

It's not just private businesses that lose out when dollars leave Central Virginia. So do cash-strapped local governments.

"Someday, you're going to need a cop, you're going to need a library, and your kid is going to need a teacher, " says Vetter, who is so impassioned about keeping money in the local economy, she has also printed a flier that urges: "Buy local. It benefits us all."

In December, with help from the city, Charlottesville artists banded together to promote "Buy Art Give Art". Over at Piedmont Environmental Council, Melissa Wiley runs the "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" program launched here five years ago, and she sure doesn't feel threatened by these new takes on the movement.

Says Wiley, "I would love to see more expanding of 'buy local.'"


cookieJar didn't finish 7th grade math problems.

My house to Cville shopping 10 miles, my house to Waynesboro shopping, 21 miles, difference 11 miles. Roundtrip, 22 miles extra, my car gets 27 mpg, so 22/27th of one gallon of gas extra.

Cost to go to Waynesboro:
$2.48 on gas
Savings in Waynesboro:
$3.20 on gas (with my Martin's card gas was actually $2.79 by spending $100 or more on groceries, so over $5 in savings on gas)
$40 on groceries (closer to $50 most weeks)
$20 on pet supplies (once a month)
$7 or more because tax rates are lower

Total savings $70.20 less $2.48, a whopping $67.72 saved. More savings if I go to Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot since prices are often lower and taxes are ALWAYs lower.

No wonder we have a financial crisis in this country if people can't even figure out how driving a few miles can save huge amounts of money.

I just hope cookieJar isn't a teacher!

honkytonkwomANN,Why can't the Hook us a local or VA printer? Aren't there any VA Presses that print newspapers?

I don’t think PrintSource is saying that you should NEVER buy from a non-local source; rather, they’re just asking you to CONSIDER local sources first. Where do you think the money for the services we enjoy here in Albemarle County comes from? Plus, local businesses EMPLOY local people! Just read the newspapers, folks!

@Kirk ââ?¬â?? I don’t have a problem with big box firms because they still employ local people and do use local services to some degree ââ?¬â?? plus you pay VIRGINIA sales tax when you shop at Sam’s ââ?¬â?? and you don’t pay sales tax when you shop online.

@Jeff C ââ?¬â?? Of course, this company and The Hook can’t use only local resources. I think you’re missing the message. This area simply does not have everything to supply their organizations. It’s a given that specialty items may have to be purchased elsewhere.

...around 75 cents, approximately 75 cents....

Though it is virtually impossible to buy ALL local products, AngelEyes sets a good example there, everyone should try to get at least a higher percentage of local shopping in as much as they can. I try to shoot for 75% local, 25% non-local. Of the non-local I try to at least go regional. According to the "Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act" local is defined as: (I) the locality or region in which the final product is marketed, so that the total distance that the product is transported is less than 400 miles from the origin of the product; (II) the State in which the product is produced.

I try to keep it within 50 miles of the origin.
@TheKirk - I suggest next time you make the cupcakes with your daughter. You can use local ingredients and the process of baking with you child (no matter how old they are) is just a wonderful bonding experience. Even if the cupcakes don't come out perfect, they still taste better because of the love that was put in.

I go to Waynesboro for all of my shopping, from groceries to gas, hardware to clothing. Why? Because IT'S CHEAPER.

Just paid $2.89 today for gas, drove right by the BP in Cville at $3.05 to get there. Saved about $40 on groceries and another $20 on pet supplies. I even take my family to the dentist in Waynesboro. The dentist there agreed to accept my insurance with nothing out of pocket from me and that saves me about $30 on each of the kids and $45 on me and my husband.

Cville, too high, in multiple ways.

If you fill your car with 20 gallons of gas, which is a lot, the difference between a fill up at @2.89 and $3.05 is 20 x 16 = $3.20

C'ville to W-boro is about 25 miles. US fleet average MPG is 19.8. A round trip at that rate would take 2.53 gallons of gas costing $7.30 at the lower gas price.

No wonder we have a financial crisis in this country if that's how people save money.

TheKirk-- the cupcakes you bought at Sams were little more than a bunch of chemicals and probably tasted like it. The cupcakes that cost $55 were handmade out of ingredients like butter, eggs, sugar, and good quality chocolate. You know... stuff that's in FOOD. They were also probably hand-decorated.

It blows me away when people compare lumps of hydrogenated fat, artificial flavorings, and unpronounceable chemicals to actual food when complaining about pricing. Newsflash, real food costs more than fake food made in massive amounts in a factory somewhere! The cheapest option by far would have been a cardboard cutout of a cupcake, and there would have been little difference in the flavor between that and the ones you bought from Sams.

And FYI, since I've known people who've worked there-- Chandlers uses lots of mixes and purchased icing out of huge pails. Not what anyone would consder "homemade."

I don't think the USA/U.S.A thing is accurate:

I would love nothing more than to buy everything that I need from a local source...BUT...when the reality of the slogan manifests itself in prices that are 200% above a "non-local" source, most aren't left with a choice.

Here's a real world example...

I needed two dozen cupcakes for my daughter's party. I went to a local business and was quoted the price of $55.00. The price at Sam's for 30 cupcakes of similar 'fresh-baked' quality was $12.99.

We have a responsibility to buy local, but local businesses also have a responsibility to at least be somewhat competitive. We should also keep in mind that while a certain product may not be created locally, there are plenty of local people who are employed to provide the sales and service around that product.

@TheKirk - try Chandler's for inexpensive, local (and delicious, by the way) cupcakes. The last time I got them they were like 75 cents each...I'm sure they're more expensive than that now, but still.

I'd like to patronize local merchants, but the following example illustrates the difficulty often encountered.
I like to wear jeans, but I'm not a big butt person and require a certain cut and size, but local clothing vendors just stock the easy-to-sell "relaxed fit" sizes and cuts. So I end up shopping online. Another factor is the amount of running around one has to do when shopping for certain things. It ends up being impossible to call around to get coherent answers about what various merchants stock and that information is readily available online. So convenience is a determining factor in many cases rather than price.
On the other hand a traditional service oriented business such as Martin Hardware or Meadowbrook Hardware gets my business because they try to cover all bases. The big box stores have ignorant sales staff and I'd rather shop online than deal with them.

I'm dating myself, but years ago (probably the 70's) there was an ad campaign for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union that had such a catchy song "Look for the union label" that was played over and over. I can still sing it. I think there should be a similar campaign for 'Look for the 'Made in the USA' label". I recently bought t-shirts for an organization and made sure they were made in the US - there is only one company left, and yes, they were more expensive by about $2 a shirt, but it was the right thing to do. Just like WWII when there was rationing and sacrifice, maybe we all need to be more conscious about our purchases and buy local and Made in the USA.

@SmallTown Gal - there are actually quite a few companies that are still make clothing in the U.S.A. the website above is a great resource. Speaking of which, does anyone know if the old USA vs. U.S.A. Still applies? I remember learning is 6th grade that if the periods were not between the letters that it meant the product was made by a conglomerate of overseas companys pronounce Ursa (sp).

Wow what BS! First off, I buy as much local food/produce as possible. Second, I would bet that approx 90% of Printsources purchases of materials are NOT local. Third, due to the local cost of living/taxes/low salaries I try to find the best deal period, to save as much money as possible & it's usually NOT local. Fourth, I heard the Hook is printed in Philadelphia (not local). The whole ââ?¬Ë?Buy local: Save your job’ is just jumping on the bandwagon of "Buy Local, blah, blah, blah" trend. I wonder, are these stickers free? How about "BUY LOCAL, STOP OUTSOURCING JOBS" or "Charlottesville, WE'RE GONNA BLOW $175,000 ON A CLOCK and BLEW $8 Million REBRICKING the DOWNTOWN MALL when many residents are living PAY CHECK TO PAYCHECK"

@Come on now....nice heartwearming suggestion that speaks nothing to the topic....where do you get "local" flour, chocolate, & sugar anyway? Another example of an impractical suggestion that buys into a slogan instead of reality.

And as far baking with my was not an option since she was over 8 mos. pregnant and confined mostly to bed rest due to severe ankle swelling.

I recently made the decision to try and keep my money in the community. Is it always possible to do? No. But I frequent the neighborhood stores in Fluvanna before I make the trek into town.

I support local business when I can, I hate Walmart and Sams but they do hire local people. I just find small owner/operated businesses are better run and offer superior customer service, its always a pleasure to meet the owner and speak with them about their products/services. We are lucky in this town to have so many great small businesses including my own, JungleJoes

I'm sure that means Ms. Vetter will immediately terminate any employee living outside the approved zip code(s), stop all orders from customers from outside the approved zip code(s), and eliminate all her business materials and contacts that exist outside the approve zip code(s).

Just recieved a new hat from my employer. From The USA Hat Company. Made in China!

Dentists in Waynesboro?!? :D

I believe what Mrs T just did is called pwnage in teh intarwebs lingo.

Thank You Ms T. You got it right .Most people will buy locally but at what price ? A farmers market where the "farmers " have a nasty attitude and think they're doing you a favor .Nope How about the $40.00 hair cut for men ,Over the hill $22.00 people still look the same except for the Volvos.$6.00 star hill drafts ?? over the hill $4.50.I think you get it. As for cookie Jar I think your name says it all Most people in this town are cut from the same Cookie Cutter " and fill the same jar as you . Its "We Live In C-Ville " so were better than anyone else.And we have the attitude to prove it.
As for the union label thank Ronnie Regan for putting that song to rest.

I'm guessing that it's like what I said above. This area may not have the resources to print a newspaper. Although I'm no expert, I DO know that not all printers print with the same equipment. I'm sure someone from The Hook could answer this question better than I.

good to see that muslims are starting to open up to others

The Yuengling is pretty good. It's not "regional" but it is American.
That's trickle down in its best sense...

Here's a tee shirt idea, Bob:

Buy American or learn Chinese.
Buy local and keep your job.