Chamber effort to support local economy shifts gears

A campaign encouraging Central Albertans to support the local economy has moved into a new phase.

Tim Creedon

Tim Creedon

A campaign encouraging Central Albertans to support the local economy has moved into a new phase.

Local:First was launched in January 2009 to promote a positive image of the region through such means as bus bench advertising, billboards and the media.

The Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, Central Alberta Realtors Association, Red Deer Regional Economic Development, Canadian Home Builders Association — Central Alberta, Tourism Red Deer and REaction Marketing Solutions Inc. were all behind the initiative.

On Tuesday, the Chamber announced that 3,500 promotional kits have been developed for distribution to Central Alberta businesses. Each contains electronic and hard copy versions of the Local:First logo, including stickers and a magnet, as well as advice on how to use it.

“What it’s designed to do is to help businesses understand how they can promote their local economy,” said Tim Creedon, executive director of the Red Deer Chamber and team leader of the Local:First campaign.

“What we’re trying to do this year is actually help the businesses to get that message out in their advertising and to their customers.”

Creedon said the goal is to persuade consumers and businesses to first consider local options when making their purchasing decisions. By doing so, he explained, “we help to keep our families, our friends and our neighbours in work.”

Although the campaign was initiated in the midst of the global economic downturn, Creedon said the message remains relevant.

The kits are available at chamber offices throughout the region, with some 6,000 notices sent to businesses from Ponoka to Olds and Stettler to Rocky Mountain House.

“We are determined to get these kits out because we think that the message is really important and we think it’s a message that our local population likes,” said Creedon.

Additional information about the Local:First campaign can be found online at www.mylocalfirst.ca.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com