You'll have to excuse us for saying so, but the Flyer has always been a bargain. Now we're bringing readers — and retailers — even more of a deal.
The Flyer asked readers to pledge to spend $100 at locally owned shops during the holiday season. In exchange, readers received weekly e-mails with "deals and steals" from area retailers. The program was so successful that it's being continued through 2009, the Flyer's 20th-anniversary year.
"Right now, when the economy is what it is, it makes sense for people to spend locally as frequently as they can," says Penelope Huston Baer, the Flyer's advertising director. "We know it might be convenient to shop online or to shop the big-box stores, but if you do, fewer of your dollars stay in the community."
According to Civic Economics, 68 cents of every dollar spent at a locally owned business stays in the community, versus 43 cents if that same dollar is spent at a national chain.
If 1,000 people pledge to spend $100 at locally owned stores, the economic impact is $25,000 greater than if they spend that same $100 at a national chain. Considering the Memphis area has more than 500,000 adult consumers, the economic impact of shopping local would be considerable.
"We're not trying to encourage people to spend money they don't have," Huston Baer says. "Part of what we're telling everyone is to spend responsibly. If you're going to spend, spend locally. It means so much to the community."
Shopping locally also can encompass area artist markets, consignment shops, and antique stores. Not to mention that eating at locally owned restaurants also can impact the economy in a significant — and positive — way.
"I was talking with a local retailer, and she said so many people in Memphis wear the 'I shop in New York' as a badge of honor. She wanted people to be proud to say they got something in Memphis," Huston Baer says. "We're just trying to help our readers and our local retailers and restaurants find each other."
To make the pledge and get signed up to receive great deals, e-mail "I pledge" to firstname.lastname@example.org.