Want to Play ‘Buy Local” with Me?
by Brian Kingsley - Friday, October 25th, 2013

Educate me about where you buy local with this contest!

Most readers of this blog already know the most popular and trendy places to buy local.  I want you to educate me about where you buy local so I can expand my Buy Local shopping options by being introduced to new businesses.

The lucky winner gets a $20 gift certificate from yours truly; not from the Syracuse New Times.  Every person in the United States is eligible to play.  This is not a “contest.”  This is me looking for new businesses, and the gift certificate is my way of saying thank you.  One winner will be chosen at random.

Here are the rules:

- You must make your purchase at a local, independently owned business that you have never shopped at before.

- You must save your receipt, photograph it and email it to me (email below).

- You must make your purchase between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7.

- Along with a photo of your receipt, and a photo of where you bought local, please include a paragraph or two about why you shopped locally at that business.

- You may also submit a 1-minute video of why you buy local.  That’s optional.

This should be relatively simple, because most of you have mobile devises capable of snapping a photo or taking video.

Why this Buy Local game?

In Syracuse, we have many supporters who genuinely make an effort to help the small guys.  Unfortunately, we don’t have nearly enough to make the impact we would like to make, which benefits our local economy.

I am a member of an organization in Syracuse, and it has made a significant impact on raising awareness.  With one exception: It is working with limited money and resources and cannot possibly reach everyone in Central New York.  That’s sad, but it’s a fact.

So, how do I best assist them by way of this Buy Local blog?

I first recommend you read previous Buy Local blogs to educate yourself about why it is important to buy local.  That would be a good place to start.

You may also want to visit Be A Localist, amiba, Local Harvest and many others.  Just do a search for “Buy local” and see what pops up.  There are many great resources for educating yourself, and the reading is interesting, fact-based and compelling when it comes to the overall economy of the United States.  Putting it simply, buying local more often will eventually lead us down the path of rebuilding a broken economy.

Back to the game

How many times have you driven by a locally owned business and thought, “I wonder what they have to offer?”  For a second, you contemplate and you just keep on driving.  There’s no law that states you have to purchase anything when you stop in.  Browsing is still allowed.

I do it on a weekly basis with at about five, and sometimes more, businesses.  Some I’ve purchased from.  Some I have not purchased from.  But at the very least, I’ve raised my own awareness of the thousands (yes, thousands) of local businesses that exist and that could use your support.

So for the purpose of this game, that might be your best route.  Purchase something you need or want from a place which, even though might be blocks away from your residence or business but for years you’ve just, well, never paid them much attention.  It’s part of the rules folks.  Play fair and share.

While contemplating where to shop local, before you leave the house or office, think of the many things you can buy local. Food staples, clothing, candy, baked goods, pizza, crafting supplies, toys, local artists, theatre tickets, cars, office supplies, vitamins, coffee, hardware, greeting cards, business cards, liquor, wines and other spirits and the list goes on and on.  Surely you can find a need at one local business, and you don’t need to look only to downtown Syracuse.  I want to hear from you wherever you live, work and play.

Get creative and have fun doing your search, and feel good about your purchases.  You just helped strengthen your community’s local economy.  That’s what buying locally is all about.  Helping other and enjoying your new experience.

Good luck and thanks for playing!

As always, thank you for reading the Buy Local blog in the Syracuse New Times!

Brian Kingsley is a marketing, advertising and promotions consultant and owner of Geo Dux Small Business Services.  Email him at geo@geodux.com