It's over! What a long wait it was for Election Day 2010! No, I'm not talking about the results or the political parties, but the campaign season was long and filled with political ads in every media outlet. While I enjoyed attending the candidates' debates and talking with them about the issues, listening to the endless ads did become rather tiresome. Our local media certainly enjoys this election season boost to their bottom line; however, like many of you, I welcome the return of the regular advertisers in the newspapers, on the radio and television.
Businesses like advertising because it helps gain new customers or build a stronger tie with current customers. Consumers like to learn about new products and services. Local businesses need advertising and word-of-mouth referrals to build and grow their business. As a staunch supporter of our local community, the chamber works hard to keep the spotlight on our hometown businesses. In addition to the other local advertising channels, the chamber offers target marketing to more than 1,000 of the area's business owners, managers and decision makers. Through our monthly magazine the Entrepreneur, and through a weekly e-newsletter, we encourage our members to shop chamber businesses first. Through this Chamber Viewpoint column and on our website (www.mariettachamber.com), we reach out the general public.
The chamber is a private association existing to support the interests of the business community. Among the chamber members are the area's longest-running retail stores, Shafer Leather and Baker & Baker Jewelers as well as our newest, A Unique Flower and Gift Shop and Over the Moon Pizzeria.
It is with great pride that we introduce these new members who joined our chamber since July 1, 2010. We thank these new members for helping to strengthen our community. We encourage our members and others in the community to make every effort to utilize the services of these establishments.
Ace Lock Safe & Security, Marietta; James R. Addison Co., L.P.A., Marietta; The Anchor, Marietta; Comfort Suites, Mineral Wells; Devola Orthopedic Center of Sports Medicine Inc., Marietta; Frye Dental Group, LLC, Marietta; Kroll Energy LLC, New Matamoras; Marietta Wine Cellars, Marietta; MedBen, Newark; Miche Bags - Jeri Nine Home Sale Rep., Marietta; Over The Back Fence, Logan; Over The Moon Pizzeria, Marietta; Petland Marietta, Marietta; Riverside Artists Gallery, Marietta; Strategic Personal Finance, LLC, Whipple; Ward's Recycling LLC, Marietta.
As the holiday shopping season approaches, we'll send the message again. Please shop in our local stores, buy from our area suppliers, and use local services as much as you can. A national organization, The 350 Project, reports that for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 remains in the local economy. In contrast, only $43 of every $100 remains local when spent in national chains, and little or no local revenue results from online purchases. So it's in our own selfish interests to spend our dollars locally.
The chamber's gift certificate program, Marietta Bucks, is another way to keep the dollars in our local economy. Available in denominations of $5, $10, $20 and $25, Marietta Bucks are available for purchase at the chamber and redeemable at nearly 90 local stores and restaurants. From dining out to having a pedicure, Marietta Bucks are a perfect gift, especially for that hard-to-please relative, or as a holiday bonus for your employees. Best of all, Marietta Bucks keep $147,000 in our local economy in 2009. And, yes, you'll hear some commercials for the Marietta Bucks if you listen to local radio, but not too many, we promise.
Charlotte Keim, CCEO-AP, is president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, The Riverview Building, 100 Front St., Suite 200, Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on Opinion.