Collaborate with local organizations, such as a local business group or a business assistance provider, to produce a multi-pronged branding effort (beyond just information on a city or chamber web site) promoting diverse businesses located in/nearby the city. Report local tourism, local purchasing by the city, and local food under action 25.3, and best practices 15 and 27, respectively.
Compile a list of locally owned businesses located in/nearby the city and promote them and their products (such as compost, books, arts & crafts).
Create incentives for buying and investing locally; create a local currency or (discounted) local dollar gift certificates; report results of your buy local efforts, including specific benefits to the local economy; enact policies that support emerging and existing locally-owned businesses.
Who's doing it
Albert Lea - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1997
The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce implemented a gift certificate program known as chamber bucks for over 20 years.
The Chamber and the City undertake many initiatives together.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Over $150,000 is spent in Chamber bucks each year.
The City of Arlington is currently working on creating a Business page on its new website which would list locally owned businesses, provide information and links to each business. Currently, a list of locally owned business members is provided by the Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce. The Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce has created a local currency called "Arlington Dollars" to use at any of our local business! The City of Arlington uses Arlington Dollars (via vendor donations) to award to community volunteers. Arlington Dollars are used in numerous contests/raffles as prize money.
Community Ed/Rec and the Arlington Parks Committee are partnering with Sibley County Public Health to start an Arlington Farmers Market in 2016. The City Hall/Community Center parking lot and commercial kitchen will be utilized as the host site for the Market as well as corresponding "Healthy Cooking" classes utilizing locally grown products.
Utilizing a Blandin Foundation matching grant, the City is discussing partnering with the Chamber to build a Community Ap which would highlight our parks, history museum and walk and local businesses.
The Trick-or-Treat Fright Night is hosted by the Arlington Chamber which promotes local businesses and organizations by having kids trick or treat throughout the downtown business district area. The street is closed for the evening for the ultimate safety of its trick-or-treaters.
Austin Chamber of Commerce “Buy Mower Grow Mower” shop local campaign was established in 2008 and local retail sales have improved. According the Chamber website – retail sales tax collections are double initial projections. However, overall sales continue to lag behind statewide averages. The Chamber Board feels that the Buy Mower (County) is important and should be continued and enhanced. Some of current actions are: Selling Chamber Bucks to be redeemed at local businesses. A Chamber Buck redemption fee of 1.5% was initiated in 2013 with all proceeds going to Buy Mower marketing. Businesses are encourage to purchase Chamber Buck for employee rewards. A Task Force reviews and updates the Buy Mower message and determines how to spend marketing fund. Right now there is an active TV campaign promoting doing business with local businesses.
The City of Belle Plaine supports a local farmers market held every Wednesday May through October at Court Square, a municipal park. The City allow park usage free of charge and also allows directional signage to be placed on public property. In addition to the farmers market, the City website links to the local Chamber of Commerce website. The Chamber has produced "Belle Plaine bucks" a 'local currency' used for buying locally. The Community Development Director attends Chamber board meetings and the Chamber/City have partnered in several projects, festivals, and events. The Chamber/EDA host an annual appreciation gala for local businesses. All items used for the gala are purchased locally. The event recognizes local businesses that have invested in the community and provides networking opportunities and fellowship.
The Elk River economic development team actively works with the Chamber of Conference and Two Rivers Referral Networking group to promote local businesses; the buy local campaign is one of their goals. Economic Development is actively involved with the Downtown River's Edge group and business education series events and sends special mailings to businesses, lenders, brokers, and realtors on new local businesses. They also work with the U of M Extension Service. When a new business opens, it is actively promoted by the Elk River economic development team via informational campaigns through Facebook, Twitter, bi-yearly newsletters and through Business Retention Expansion visits. The Farmers market is actively promoted on the city website and located at the Westbound Liquor Store parking lot which is a city building. There is no charge for the use of the parking lot.
A list of locally owned businesses is provided by the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce and promoted by the City of Elk River EDA.
The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce has created a local currency called "Chamber Bucks" to use at any Chamber member business - There are hundreds to choose from! The City of Elk River and Elk River Municipal Utilities actively uses the Chamber Bucks as incentive to community residents and businesses in various programs.
The City of Falcon Heights has implemented a "buy local" campaign. We solicited our local retail establishments to participate, and created a wallet-sized card that is available for download from our website. Once a certain number of businesses have been visited, residents can drop off the card at city hall to be entered into a quarterly drawing for a prize from the participating retailers.
The Hoffman website has a list of the local and area businesses including businesses that are locally owned. The City works hand in hand with the Hoffman Commerce and Agriculture organization in promoting all these businesses through Shop dates, Holiday Expos, and Street sales. Our city works with the local businesses by promoting them by giving away Hoffman Bucks in drawings or events.
The city of Jordan has partnered with local businesses to create a social media campaign that highlights select local businesses in a series called “business of the week”. This campaign also highlights city events and notable sales to encourage residents to shop in town.
The Jordan Chamber of Commerce gives 'Jordan Dollars' to residents for use at local businesses. This supplements Jordan's buy local social media campaign.
Jordan branded its downtown district with the phrase “live shop dine” and created a promotional video to remind residents of the amenities available within the city
The Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce has established a "Shop Local" campaign that provides information to the residents of Marshall and the business community. The information focuses on the Economic Growth Opportunity, and Community Benefits of shopping local. Information is presented through the local media (monthly full page news ads) and presentations are provided to various community groups throughout the year. Some strategies that are implemented as part of the campaign are: Use of Chamber Gift Checks as gifts that can only be redeemed locally and a low cost coupon book that features local businesses.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
700 Chamber Saver Coupon Books sold for $25 each that provide over $400 in savings per book.
Over $100,000 in Chamber Gift Checks sold annually that are redeemable at over 380 local businesses.
Three new local taxes that were approved by voters in November 2012 rely on shopping local to fund two important economic generators in the community: MERIT Center and the SW MN Amateur Sports Center.
The Mora Area Chamber of Commerce has "Chamber Cash" that can be bought by anyone and used only at local chamber member businesses. It’s a great way to ensure that money stays in our community. The City, school district, and healthcare system are all supporters of the initative, purchasing Chamber Cash throughout the year. The Chamber also has a scavenger hunt on small business Saturday and the winners receive chamber cash. The scavenger hunt also serves to get people into the businesses on that day.
City staff led a "Shop New Hope" campaign in 2009, which involved producing and printing 20,000 coupon books used to promote local businesses, support the New Hope economy, and create a sense of community. The coupon books featured coupons and advertisements for New Hope businesses as well as resources and information about the community. City staff also created and maintains a Business Directory, which lists all businesses that operate in New Hope.
The City, which is a partner of the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, is participating in the Chamber's Buy Local Campaign that is taking place through June 18, 2012. Through the campaign, individuals can pick up a card at a participating sponsor (such as the City) and get it punched at 20 local stores, 3 of which are in Newport. At the end of the campaign, individuals can drop of their completed card for a chance to win several prizes.
The Pierz Area Commercial Club did a Shop Local campaign in November of 2018. Our outgoing Mayor and our incoming Mayor both gave support and a statement about what shopping local does for our community. The City if also part of the local Area Commercial club which has developed "Pierz Bucks" which can be used as currency at businesses in Pierz. We also have a list of the area businesses on our City Website.
The Willmar Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has stared a Buy Local campaign.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Local Businesses and Government have been posting the Buy Local Logo at their facilities. The awareness of the benefits to buying local is starting to increase.
Coupon Books of Participating Businesses has been developed.
The City of Big Lake prioritizes promoting local businesses. The City sponsors Big Lake Manufacturer's Week in which local businesses are promoted, and tours are given of certain sites. The City has also participated in, and helped to coordinate, the Big Lake Youth Apprenticeship Job Fair. As mentioned in action 25.3, the City of Big Lake also created and maintains both a summer and winter farmers market, promoting local farmers and artisans all year round! The City website also has a list of local businesses in every sector represented in the city. The City has created free phone cleaners, etc. with shop local Big Lake as the focus.We are often working with the Chamber of Commerce as well to promote local businesses.
Partners: Big Lake Township, Big Lake Chamber of Commerce, Sherburne County, Greater MSP Regional Economic Development Partnership, Central MN Jobs and Training Services, Central MN Manufacturers Association, Tri-CAP, Northstar Corridor Development Authority
"Showcasing Brainerd" happens monthly at council meetings. Over the past three years many local businesses (both industrial and retail) have used this time to introduce their goods and services to the council and public. (meetings are televised)
In 2012, area Chambers offered punch cards to be punched at local businesses for support.
Cottage Grove is continuing with our Shop Cottage Grove campaign that was kicked off in January 2012. In 2013, focus was put on raising awareness of why it is important to shop local. Also conducted a Shop Cottage Grove survey, and will be rolling out coupons to encourage people to Shop Cottage Grove.
Hopkins have a list of local businesses and we do promote them through the Think Hopkins marketing campaign. We have also created a printable guide to shopping and dining in Hopkins that is available for download from Think Hopkins website. The brochure compiles the list for everything from farmer's market produce to expensive wine, antiques to one-of-a-kind designer handbags... We have not implemented a buy local incentive program but we have sent a letter to the editor of the local paper identifying the benefits of shopping local.we are planning to focus on a buy local strategy through our Think Hopkins! campaign in 2013.
In addition,for over 25 years,the Hopkins Farmer's Market has offered a seasonal opportunity to Minnesota grown vegetables, fruits, herbs, meat, poultry, honey, flowers, annual plants, handmade soaps, crafts, jewelry, kettle corn, cookbooks, bakery items, and snacks. The farmers market runs Saturdays from mid-June through October. At the peak of the season there are 23 vendors that sell goods at the market.
More information on the Farmer's Market is on the City's website, www.hopkinsmn.com
Hutchinson's Chamber of Commerce and Tourism provides a website location to support local businesses throughout the town and surrounding area. This website lists businesses by category making searching easy. The website also provides a page for "Hot Deals" currently happening in businesses around town, this provides opportunities for businesses to spread the word of a sale or good deal. Job listings for local businesses are also published on this website. Hutchinson also recognizes a business of the month as a recognition for hard work put into small businesses around the community.
Hutchinson also has "Crazy Days" once a year that promotes small businesses in the community. This is an advertised event in which the community can find deals at local businesses for one weekend. The event brings a lot of business to the shops and restaurants in the community.
Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is – Keep It Local program is operated by the North 65 Chamber of Commerce which offices in the City of Isanti. The program is generally a shop local and support your local businesses program which have green components. The concept is GREEN as it reduces gas consumption, pollution and vehicle maintenance. In addition it helps the local economy which provides jobs for residents.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
North 65 Chamber of Commerce implemented this program and assumption is that they are monitoring its success. City of Isanti encourages residents and businesses to shop and conduct business locally which supports program.
The City of Nisswa takes part in the Lakes Proud local shopping campaign with Pequot Lakes, Cuyuna Lakes, Cross Lake, and Brainerd Lakes. This started in 2013 as a concept brought up between business owners. With help from the Small Business Development Center at St. Cloud State University and Central Lakes College conducting studies on feasibility in 2015 the event launched with the goals of encouraging people to shop local and sharing why shopping local is so beneficial to the communities. Since then the participation has grown so much that is is now a 5 community event with a 16 person committee.
The City's works to promote local businesses and shopping local businesses. The City promotes the 3/50 campaign on the city's webpage. The City has a complete listing of the City's locally owned businesses on the City's website. The City works with the North St. Paul Business association to promote a shop local event called Merry Little Shindig in December of each year. The City supports these efforts by advertising and speaking about the event in council/commission meetings.
The City has a "Hometown Business" webpage on our website that lists a majority of the businesses in our community. The webpage links to other businesses' websites and contains a directory to our Chamber of Commerce.
The City issued a letter of support for Small Business Saturday in November 2022, and the City is participating in a "Love Local" campaign that encourages residents and visitors to shop local. The City is promoting this campaign on our social media platforms and in our print and digital newsletters. The City has created promotional materials for local businesses to use in their own social media. The City is distributing window clings for businesses to display in their storefronts that promote the "Love Local" message and display our city logo.
The City of Rogers has added a list to its website, sorted by category, of locally-owned and operated businesses. The list has been advertised on the main page of the website as well as facebook. The upcoming newsletter will also include a blurb about supporting local businesses. We are currently looking into decals for shop owners who are interested in displaying one on their door/window. We will also do some advertising related to buying local in tandem to the community gardens and farmers' market.
The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce operates a buy local campaign with the message, Shop Local&Eat Local&Invest Local&STAY LOCAL. As a part of the campaign, a toolkit is available to members to assist them in keeping resources local and helping members weather the recession. In addition, the St. Cloud area farmers operate a Farmers Market in the downtown on Saturday mornings as a way for local residents to connect with local farmers and obtain food sources directly from the growers.
The volunteer group, Sustainable Stillwater, created a Green Business Directory.
The Green Business Directory (www.greenstillwater.org), a project of Sustainable Stillwater MN, lets shoppers align their personal values with the power of the purse by choosing businesses with green, sustainable, and resilient products and practices.
The Green Business Directory is an online public resource listing environmentally and socially conscious businesses in Washington County or that serve Washington County. Businesses must apply to be in the Directory by filling out an application that has strict criteria about their products and practices from GreenAmerica.org.
If qualified, businesses receive gold, silver, or bronze awards, a listing in the Directory, and social media promotion. Their “report cards” display their qualifications publicly, so consumers can learn all about them. If applicants do not qualify, their info is kept private and we work with them to help them improve.
The City collaborates with the Victoria Business Association, the Southwest Metro Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to promote our local businesses. The City has a list of locally owned businesses and provides information and links to each business on the City's Website.
The City supports the Victoria Business Association in hosting many community events that promote our local businesses. The City hosts annually the Discover Victoria Day that offers a business and resource expo for businesses in the community. The expo provides an opportunity local businesses to be promoted. Classic Car Nights are hosted by the Business Association bringing people into the community to enjoy viewing classic cars and visiting local shops. Volksfest is a local community celebration that aims to bring people downtown. The Halloween Kids Party hosted by the Business Association promotes local businesses by having kids trick or treat at participating businesses. The final event hosted by the Victoria Business Association is Christmas in Victoria at which there is a tree lighting ceremony, crafts and promotions at different businesses in downtown. The City supports these events by partnering in hosting or providing marketing and other assistance.
The City when hosting events the City shops locally working with local restaurants or the local grocery store to provide food or snacks.
An intern with the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning board has been working in collaboration with local organizations and businesses to produce a "local campaign" for the Bemidji area. Efforts have included compiling a list locally owned businesses, food producers, farms, artists, studios, restaurants, independent health practitioners, and local trail maps. This local campaign will provide the Bemidji area with information about local food, health providers, local energy options, local recreation, local art, and local businesses under one umbrella website.
City of Bloomington coordinates a Farmer's Market that incorporates a number of local businesses beyond farms and bakers. Among the vendors include home decor, clothing companies, pet food businesses, toys, arts and crafts, and beauty/healthcare items.
In addition to promotion on the City of Bloomington website, it is also promoted by Minnesota Grown, which features farmer's markets across Minnesota, as well as Facebook and other online sites.
Participation in a shop local campaign has been integral in creating community spirit. The Crosslake Chamber of Commerce highlights local businesses and the impact of shopping locally. As a member of the Lakes PROUD collaboration, Crosslake Chamber promotes shopping, buying and supporting businesses throughout the Lakes region. It makes a difference in the regional economy by pausing before the purchase and making a conscious effort to support local and regional business.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Lakes Proud campaign continues to promote shopping locally.
The City of Kasson is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Beyond membership, the City supports the local Chamber in all of their Buy Local campaigns and promotions through publication on or in the City’s: Website, Electroinic messaaging sign, facebook, newsletter, cable channel and bulletin boards.
The City of Lakeville frequently promotes the local farmers market seasonally via social and print media and has done so since the farmers market began many years ago. Recently, the City supported the local campaign to connect residents with local restaurants who were operating during the pandemic. The website is www.LakevilleRestaurants.com. This information was shared on the City’s website, and through social and print media for many weeks. The City of Lakeville is also an active partner with the Downtown Lakeville Business Association. The City will continue to support local campaigns for community members and local businesses.
In 2014, the Mahtomedi Area Farmer's Market will occur every Saturday from June 21st to Sept. 27, at Triangle Park, from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The Farmer's Market showcases local fresh vegtables along with many other wonderful products.
The city promoted business which practice sustainable local food production. To promote these sustainability practices the city provided a local foods brochure to all residential households which was included in the spring Maplewood Seasons.
The Richfield Chamber of Commerce runs an annual "buy local" campaign in December to promote local holiday shopping, highlighting 45 businesses in Richfield. Events such as the Urban Wildland Half Marathon & 5K specifically seek out local sponsors (http://www.urbanwildland.com/sponsors.htm) to create a beneficial relationship for all involved. The City also runs a weekly summer/fall Farmers Market and a biweekly Winter Market, which is promoted through City social media as a regular opportunity to "buy local".
Want to feel more connected to the community, promote your products and services, position your reputation favorably in the marketplace and merge with 240 other voices advocating for the local business scene? Join the Chamber! Community Events
October 4 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
~ Girls Day Out ~
October 6 @ 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
West Saint Paul has a vibrant and diverse commercial corridor in Robert Street, with many retail, food and specialty options. Throughout the years, the City has used different branding efforts to promote local business. In the 1990's the City used the tagline of "West St Paul, We're Close to it All!".
From 2015-2017 the entire Robert Street corridor underwent a complete reconstruction project. This kept much of the road closed or detoured at times and thus kept local residents from using the street. The City developed and promoted the "Shop Robert Street" campaign to promote local businesses, letting residents know they were still open for business.
During the past year while many businesses were closed or limited due to COVID restrictions, the City used a branding effort "#ShopWestStPaul". This was used in all website and social media posts that shared local and state restrictions and guidelines, in an effort to promote local business and remind people that businesses in West St Paul were still open for business.