It's been said the best way to help the economy is often to shop locally. This idea has sparked a campaign known as $25 on the 25th.
The main goal of the campaign is to get people to spend at least $25 in a locally shop or restaurant this Saturday, Sept. 25.
The campaign originally began with the New York Press Association in an effort to "create some excitement in downtowns across the state," according to NYPA executive director Michelle Rea.
"Essentially the publishers came to the board and talked about how downtown merchants and Main Street merchants have been really suffering for quite some time and they felt the newspapers should do something," said Rea. "To make citizens aware of how vital the role is that downtown merchants play in distinguishing communities from one another."
Rea explained NYPA felt that by newspapers banding together across the state, there would be more publicity. To help spread the word, they teamed up with the New York State Economic Development Council and the New York State Conference of Mayors to get the campaign up and running.
"Statistically, it's proven that if the local residents support local businesses that there is a benefit to the community and to the businesses," said Plattsburgh Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak. "I believe that the efforts by the local business community deserves as much support as possible by the residents of the city of Plattsburgh and I strongly urge and hope that local residents support the local merchants as much as possible on the 25th and continue to support them throughout the year."
NYSEDC executive director Brian McMahon explained shopping local actually has numerous benefits.
"When we spend money in our community it comes back to us in the form of increased sales tax dollars, which get reinvested back into the community," said McMahon. "But, more importantly ... I think it reintroduces and reacquaints the community with the quality and diversity of retail establishments within their community."
The diversity of the establishments is what Rea considers another important aspect of the campaign.
"If we were all just big areas plastered with big box stores and chain restaurants, Plattsburgh wouldn't be any different than Albany, wouldn't be any different than Syracuse," she said. "A unique brand of merchandising and menus and d cor is what sets us each apart from one another."
Economically, Rea broke down the difference between money being spent at local merchants, compared to big box stores.
"If a person or a family spends $100 a month with local merchants, $45 of that $100 stays local, circulating locally," she explained. "If that same family spends $100 with a big box store, $14 of those dollars stay local. So, the impact for not only the merchants themselves, but also the municipal areas, in terms of payroll dollars recirculating and whatnot, it's huge, it's really significant.
Village of Rouses Point George A. Rivers summed it up by saying, "Support your people. Support your village."
"We lose sales tax if you don't shop here," he added. "The state loses, we lose, everybody loses. When you shop on-line there's no sales tax."
Rea said if people show enough support for the project, NYPA hopes to have the campaign happen more than once a year.
"People need to remember that if you don't want those stores to go missing or those restaurants to go missing, you need to support them," she said.
For more information about $25 on the 25th, visit www.newyorkpressassociation.com/25onthe25th.aspx.