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.'"