Welch Shopping at Onion River

Rep. Welch, Business Leaders Urge Vermont to “Buy Local”

Montpelier, VT –
On Tuesday, November 22, VBSR teamed up with Congressman Peter Welch, Montpelier Mayor John Hollar, Montpelier Alive and other business leaders to emphasize the importance of shopping locally.

In his remarks given at The Shoe Horn in downtown Montpelier, Welch said

“We’re lucky to live in Vermont where small business all over the state sell original and extraordinary products. And, the owners of these small businesses are our neighbors, our kids’ soccer coaches, and our friends—and most importantly they reinvest their profits right back into our communities. It’s important to support these Vermont businesses with by shopping locally, especially during the busy holiday season”

After the press conference, Rep. Welch was true to his word and did some of his own holiday shopping- locally, of course.

“Each dollar you spend shopping online only returns about one cent to the local economy,” said Jane Campbell, executive director of VBSR. “However, each dollar you spend at a locally-owned store puts 45 cents in the local economy, which then gets multiplied each time that money is spent locally.”

Mayor John HollarMayor Hollar talked about why buying locally is important and how it helps support Montpelier’s vibrant downtown. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Downtown Montpelier’s independent businesses are what gives the capital city its special flavor. The shopping experience here is unique for visitors, and provides quality, convenience and sustainable connections for our residents.”

Ashley Witzenberger, executive director of Montpelier Alive, said “Shops in downtown Montpelier make the holidays their own with a trifecta of post-Thanksgiving celebrations: Flannel Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cider Monday. Flannel Friday and Cider Monday are our cozy version of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Our local retailers host special sales and even offer cider goodies to holiday shoppers on these special days. It’s all part of what makes Montpelier the place to buy local this season.”

Wendy Wilson, VBSR’s Local First Vermont manager, also noted that VBSR has launched a new tool to promote buying local. “For seven years, we’ve printed the popular Buy Local Coupon Book,” she said. “This year, shoppers can get the same coupons with a mobile app– for some folks, it’ll be easier to carry coupons on their phone or tablet instead of the book. But they’ll get the same 230+ coupons worth $3,000.” Wilson also said that the Buy Local book and app feature six new regions this year, to help Vermonters explore the Green Mountain state.

Wilson ended the event by asking Vermonters to think “Local First” when they are shopping, noting that “every time you spend a dollar, you can choose to make a difference in your local community.