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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Charleston Chamber of Commerce launches new ‘Buy Local’ campaign

Charleston’s Chamber of Commerce launches its “Buy Local – Choose Charleston” campaign today during Chamber of Commerce Week.

The campaign focuses on encouraging residents to shop local to create a supportive environment for Charleston businesses.

“We want to highlight the unique businesses Charleston has and show people the benefits of shopping local,” said Cindy Titus, executive director of the chamber.

Mike Brown, president of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, said studies have shown that money spent with a local business benefits the community because it has three times the impact as dollars spent elsewhere.

The chamber also emphasizes the importance of local businesses to the economy of Charleston. Shopping dollars spent in the city aid the city, Titus said.

Titus added that small businesses offer unique choices.

“Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and respond more quickly to the need of local customers, stocking products to meet the changing population needs,” she said. “But we just support buying in town in general whether it is Wal-Mart or a small store.”

In addition to supporting local businesses, the chamber created posters, window decals and stickers that community members can post to show their support.

The chamber has the support of city officials, as approved by the council at the Sept. 2 city council meeting.

“Any support we get will help, but the city is a direct recipient of supporting this,” Titus said.

Community members Sandy Patterson, 17589 Lake Charleston Loop, and Lin Harrison, 17585 Lake Charleston Loop, challenged the council on this issue by asking the council at its Sept. 2 meeting to provide invoices of its spending on recent renovations to City Hall.

The city hired outside contractors to conduct the renovations, and Mayor John Inyart said the city bought local when they could.

“The city is held to a process and they have to go with the lowest bid,” Titus said. “They tried to purchase chairs and other items as locally as possible.”

Harrison said they think the city spent more money outside of Charleston than they had to.

Harrison and Patterson believe it is hypocritical for the city to vote to support such a campaign but not participate in the issue the chamber is promoting.

The two filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to acquire the invoices and budgets for the City Hall renovations to see if their belief has factual backing to it.

Krystal Moya can be reached at 581-7942 or at [email protected].

Charleston Chamber of Commerce launches new ‘Buy Local’ campaign

Charleston Chamber of Commerce launches new Buy Local campaign

Charleston resident Sandy Patterson speaks to City Council about using outside contractors for renovation jobs at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Mayor Inyart said that it was no secret that they used outside contractors for renovations on City Hall. Ha

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