Last week I was at a meeting with about eight other Urbandale Chamber Members. The meeting was designed to introduce us to the Greater Des Moines Partnership and for them to "listen to learn how we might better serve our Partnership Members". The Partnership is a group of the local Chambers of Commerce who have banded together to better impact our joint missions. Strength in numbers me thinks.
Heading the delegation was Martha Willits the director of the Partnership who came along with Meg Fritz and Mark Elliott. It was a solid exchange of ideas and comments.
And, then we started talking about "buying local". It's a big push from the Partnership to "Buy Into the Circle" and they've gone to some expense promoting the idea among buyers and sellers.
Joe Domeier, who owns the Art Store commented on the "Buy Local" campaign and shared some interesting numbers with the group. "For every dollar spent with a locally owned business 80 cents stays in the community. However, when people spend money with non-local chains only 20 to 40 cents stays in the community." Here is the citation from the news story he was quoting.
The folks in the room were impressed. "Wow...that much of a difference huh?" And, then...Joe asked the following question: "So if that is true and the Partnership has spent so much time and effort in promoting buying local why is it that when the Des Moines Art Festival was held downtown the promoters purchased their frames out of town?"
Pretty much...hushed silence.
He went on, "And it's not that my local prices were that much higher. I think they saved maybe a dollar on each frame."
Martha made the point that The Partnership does not manage the Des Moines Art Festival but did promise to mention it to the promoters.
We hope so