The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce has launched a citywide initiative called "Be Vocal Buy Local" to encourage residents to do business in Conway.
The campaign outlines three reasons why it is important to buy locally. First, sales taxes from purchases made in Conway support its city services, such as police and fire departments; parks; and streets. Second, patronizing local businesses keeps them in operation and retains jobs. Finally, local, independent shops are what make Conway distinct and vibrant.
President and CEO Brad Lacy said the initiative is something the Chamber has wanted to do for a while. The purpose, he explained, is to make people aware that they do not have to leave Conway to get what they want or need.
"The heart of Be Vocal Buy Local is to create outspoken advocates for our community," he said. "When we keep our money here at home, we’re only helping ourselves."
The first phase of Be Vocal Buy Local was introduced in April. Through "Staff Picks," Chamber employees share on social media some of their favorite places to do business in Conway.
Be Vocal Buy Local was unveiled in its entirety at the Chamber’s June CEO Luncheon. The website, BeVocalBuyLocal.org, features videoed and written stories from local business owners and an opportunity for other business owners to tell their story.
The website includes a resources page where business owners can download stickers, table tents, personalized posters and a T-shirt order form. Business owners and company representatives can also get up to three full-color posters from the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce during regular business hours.
Business owners can take the Be Vocal Buy Local message online by embedding a badge on their company’s website and using a provided template for social media activity. Chamber-member businesses can upload coupons to the Chamber website, which links to BeVocalBuyLocal.org.
"We want people to help us spread the word so that everyone in the community can understand how important it is to make local purchases and continue to build the type of city we want to live in," Lacy said.
"When you choose to shop locally, you choose to invest in your community."