Community Agriculture Alliance: Have you met the challenge? | SteamboatToday.com

Community Agriculture Alliance: Have you met the challenge?

Nancy Kramer

Two years ago I challenged you, in this same column, to turn 5 percent of your out-of-town buying into local purchases. As the 14th annual Hometown Holiday Shopping Gala approaches, can you answer the question with a resounding "yes"?

If you have answered in the affirmative, be proud of your contribution to your community. If you answered "no," think about your influence in building and retaining a resilient community through an investment in buying locally.

Community

Local retailers return a total of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 14 percent for the national chain retailers.

Provide funding for city and county basic services such as snow plowing and road maintenance through collection of sales tax.

Support health and human services, arts, culture, recreation and environmental organizations and programs through the collection of sales tax.

Fund our public education through grants to manage growth of class sizes and provide the latest technology through the collection of the 0.25 percent sales tax dedicated to the Steamboat Springs Education Fund.

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Assure employment for your friends and neighbors who are local producers and/or retailers.

Value

Your local businesses are there to service the products you buy.

You can find unique gifts and services that don't exist anywhere else.

You can find comparable pricing on many products and save money that would be spent on travel to buy in Elsewhere USA.

People you buy from are your friends and neighbors — people you can trust.

Products and services are more diverse and plentiful here than you might think; it makes sense to check before you shop elsewhere.

The 14th Hometown Holiday Shopping Gala is a partnership of the Community Agriculture Alliance, Northwest Colorado Products and the Buy Local program of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. As the Community Agriculture Alliance continues to create an environment for local entrepreneurs to thrive, Northwest Colorado Products is working with the Chamber to advance NWCP's mission: to establish and maintain a market for products and services that promote products that originate in Northwest Colorado.

While this partnership and others provide a foundation for our local producers and emerging entrepreneurs in Northwest Colorado, you, as a consumer, have a role to play, too: Buy local. You can begin to "Strive for 5" by shopping at the 2012 Hometown Holiday Shopping Gala. And then head to our Main Street merchants to support our local retailers, many of whom sell locally produced products. Do your part to sustain a local products industry and resilient community.


Nancy Kramer is the project coordinator for the Northwest Colorado Products program.


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