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Iowa Group Launches Buy Local Campaign

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 1, 2001 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/iowa-group-launches-buy-local-campaign/

The front of the poster shows Uncle Sam with his arms embracing a store owner and a shopper, superimposed over an outline of the state of Iowa and a drawing of Main Street. The back lists ten reasons to support independent businesses. Number one: Money spent at a local business stays in your community. Number seven: Shopping in town slows pressure to build strip malls on farmland and in natural areas.

The poster is part of a Buy Local campaign launched last fall by 1000 Friends of Iowa, a citizens group based in Des Moines that fights sprawl and works for strong downtowns.

The idea originated with Ed Fallon, a state legislator and Executive Director of 1000 Friends. In October, he made a personal commitment to shop only at locally owned stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other members of the organization liked the idea and decided to create a public campaign to highlight the importance of supporting Main Street merchants.

A kickoff press conference was held the day before Thanksgiving. Two television stations, the Des Moines Register, and several smaller papers covered the campaign. Radio stations called for interviews.

Through a network of volunteers, 1000 Friends distributed the Uncle Sam posters to area businesses and prominent locations in Des Moines and several smaller communities. Soon calls were coming in from other merchants who wanted posters for their stores as well.

The response was so good, says Rose Winkler, coordinator of the campaign, that 1000 Friends has decided to continue it this year. The poster is already in its second printing. The group plans to meet with local business owners to discuss ways to expand the campaign.

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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

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