Author's Note: After a recent post about the upcoming "307 Appreciation Weekend" in Fort Collins, members of Laramie Main Street, the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, and the Laramie City Council reached out to Townsquare Media (Laramie Live, KOWB, and Y95 Country) to encourage Laramie residents to shop local. Their letter is included in full below.

"Shop local" isn't just a one-day event, catchy campaign, or trendy hashtag. For those of us at Laramie Main Street and the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, it is a way of life. We know that small, locally owned businesses are the backbone of a vibrant community. They create jobs, support local clubs and non-profits, add character and enhance our quality of life.


When you shop with a local buisness, your hard-earned dollars  support the place you call home. Revenue captured locally supports city services like parks, road and water infrastructure, and the fire and police departments. Local businesses also put money back into the community via employee wages and donations to local causes.


When you shop outside of Laramie or online, that cycle is broken.


So instead of filling your gas tank to drive to Fort Collins this weekend or pay higher sales tax on goods and services, we encourage you to "look local first." And while we recognize there are times certain products aren't available in town, a commitment to spend even  10% more of your discretionary income locally makes a big impact.


According to Independent We Stand, "for every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community." That is a significant reinvestment!


Also, consider when retailers and restaurants are contemplating moving into a new market, they look at how much money is spent locally. If there is a certain business you wish would come to town, keep in mind they look to open in places where the primary way to capture a market share is to have a physical presence in that area.  I.e. it will be hard for Laramie to attract a big box retailer when we are in the habit of driving across the hill or down south to do our shoppping. Why open a storefront in a location that already comes to you?


That said, if you are having trouble finding something in town, we are here to help. Give us a call and we will connect you with a local business that will strive to meet your needs.


We invite you to show your community appreciation by visiting a locally owned business in Laramie this week and by making a commitment to shop local all year round.


Trey Sherwood and Shantel Anderson, Laramie Main Street


Andi Summerville, Mayor, City of Laramie


Brad Enzi, Laramie Chamber Business Alliance


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