Summit Unchained ‘buy local’ campaign in its holiday push |

Summit Unchained ‘buy local’ campaign in its holiday push

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – 10 percent: That’s all local businesses are asking for.

The Summit Independent Business Alliance is in its final push for local dollars with its holiday marketing campaign – Summit Unchained. The “buy local” movement runs through Dec. 31, and it challenges the community to shift 10 percent of its purchasing power to locally owned, independent businesses. Nearly 90 Summit County businesses are participating in the program’s second year, and 4,000 cards are being circulated.

“I definitely think there’s good energy going on with Summit Unchained,” said Summit Independent Business Alliance (SIBA) executive director Katie Roberts.

So how does the Unchained “buy local” movement work? A punch card for the Unchained Challenge can be picked up at participating Summit Independent Business Alliance business, and the goal for card holders is to fill up their cards by spending locally. Then they need to turn full, or partially filled, cards into SIBA businesses so they’ll be entered into a prize raffle after the New Year.

“It’s been going really well,” said The Next Page Bookstore co-owner Amy Yundt. “We’ve seen a big increase of cards from last year, and we’ve had a lot of finished cards already turned in.”

Abby’s Coffee co-owner Suzie VerSchure agreed, noting an increase in local participation seen in the number of cards stamped daily.

“Some stores have had to order more cards because they’ve run out,” Roberts said. “It’s definitely working. … People are purposefully shopping a little differently because they’re motivated to do so.”

Businesses participating in the challenge run the gamut of services, including coffee shops, book stores, home supplies and clothing. Look for the Unchained sign in store windows to locate participating businesses.

“After the holidays, we plan to participate in a national retail survey,” Roberts said. “We’ll be able to gauge some specific results at that point, and we will also survey SIBA members (about the campaign results).”

All Unchained participants should turn in their cards this year so Roberts can track the actual economic impact of the “buy local” movement to the county. It doesn’t matter if they’re filled up completely, as there will be a raffle options for both full and half-filled cards.

Unchained cards should be turned in by the first week of the new year.

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