What's the best way to keep the area you live in afloat amidst troubling times? According to the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, it's making an effort to patronize local businesses whenever possible, and it's making that effort easier with its recently released 2009 Buy Local Directory.
The 96-page booklet contains the roughly 950 chamber members in alphabetical and categorical listings. It also contains contact information for government officials; information on arts, entertainment and recreation; community organizations; school districts; health services; and places of worship.
The cover of the directory is adorned with a simple message in bold: Buy local.
"They're the local people, the local businesses, and they support their community through their chamber membership," said Peter Aust, chamber president, of the businesses in the directory. "Look somewhere else if you have to, but look locally first."
According to Aust, the chamber is aiming this year's directory to be more like the Yellow pages than before with the categorical listings. Local residents will find it makes a valuable tool in seeking a solution within the community, rather than patronizing big box retailers or online stores.
Though Aust admits that not every good or service can be found locally, making an effort to buy local is not time consuming or difficult with the directory.
"You can use is very much like your phone book, pull it out to find a local solution," he said. "The message we're trying to put out to folks is, use this directory first."
Keeping money in the community reaps benefits for everyone, Aust continued, including boosting local sales tax revenues and enabling employers to keep their workers on the job.
The 2009 directory can be picked up free of charge at the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County's offices, 15 Park Ave., Suite 7, Clifton Park, or at Town Halls, libraries and many participating chamber businesses.