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'Think Local. Buy Local!' launched by Chamber

The Chamber of Southern Saratoga wants residents to think local and buy local, and it took the first step in getting this message out with the launch of the Think Local. Buy Local! campaign on Thursday, Dec. 10. The campaign will continue to develop throughout 2010 to raise awareness about the importance of purchasing goods and services in local communities to sustain local economy, according to Loretta Rankin, director of marketing and communications for the Chamber of Southern Saratoga.

"Now more than ever, the spending decisions we make as consumers has a significant impact on the health and quality of our local communities," said President and CEO of the Chamber Peter Aust.

The advantage of purchasing from local businesses is that a large percentage of the total sales tax remains allocated to local funding and contributes to a community's economic sustainability. Rankin said it helps keep property taxes manageable, funds emergency services, neighborhood parks, health programs, children's educational programs and more.

"There are a lot of advantages to shopping in Saratoga County and Clifton Park. The sales tax is 7 percent as opposed to 8 percent or more in some of the neighboring counties," said Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett at the Thursday press conference. "Whether it's gas, clothes or TVs, there isn't much that you can't buy here."

Rankin said the "Think Local. Buy Local!" campaign will launch an awareness program that will include media advertising, point-of-purchase signage, discount programs and access to local company offerings through the Chamber's Web site. She said the Chamber also wants to work with various towns to provide education awareness to businesses and residents to promote buying local.

"The multiplier effect from the hundreds of millions of dollars of payroll in this area is palpable, as for every dollar you spend, five times of that is spent again to sustain our economy," said Aust at the conference. "This means that your neighbor's job is likely saved, the community park in your neighborhood remains open and maintained, the street on which you live is plowed this winter and the security of your family remains strong."

The Chamber of Southern Saratoga is a membership-based business organization that represents more than 970 businesses in the region"according to the Web site"which also states that it works to create a successful business environment, provide valuable resources and be a "vigorous advocate for the business community."

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