Keep It QC
Next time you want to use Amazon to buy something online, consider keeping your money here in the Quad-Cities.
That’s the thrust of a new campaign from the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, which has launched “Keep It QC,” to bring awareness to the power of doing business locally. According to the chamber, buying local has many tangible economic benefits for the region, in addition to helping area businesses rebound faster from the financial impact of Covid-19.
Erin Platt, the chamber’s marketing director, says Keep It QC is about educating people that buying local should be the first choice every time. During this hard time for many area businesses, the need is even more urgent.
“We’re asking you to support local businesses, make your purchases from companies located here, because it has a tangible impact on your economy and your community improvements.”
“It’s always been important to grow business and keep our economy strong. Obviously, this year has brought a lot of challenges to area businesses, and this is a way that doesn’t require people to spend a lot of money or spend any extra money. It just requires them to look at how they’re spending it or where they’re spending it. So change their purchasing habits, not their purchasing amounts, per se, in order to improve the revenue stream going to our local businesses.”
The economic benefits of Keep It QC include generating more tax revenue, that funds local roads, schools, parks, police, and fire departments; adding more jobs and workers who spend more as consumers; and increasing the region’s attractiveness to companies that want to expand or relocate.
Platt says online shopping has required some companies to change their business model, including updating their website and social media. For some customers, instead of ordering directly from a website for delivery, consumers are encouraged to choose in-store or curbside pickup from the online retailer.
“Any store, any business that is located here – pays taxes here, employs people here, those individuals have purchasing power as well. So when you’re supporting them, whether it’s purchasing online or going there – whether it’s big box or mom and pop, if they’re located here, those dollars are helping to support here.”
The initiative includes social media, posters, flyers, and yard signs, available for free. She says the chamber has distributed over 100 yard signs so far in the community, to help spread the message and raise awareness.
“If we have a really robust, vibrant economy – vibrant business scene, good quality of place, good infrastructure and schools – then we’re going to be more attractive versus a community that doesn’t have those things.”
The campaign was targeted to help give extra help to this holiday season, the most important time of year for many businesses.
“People do have that on their mind; they’re starting to shop. Black Friday is right around the corner, Shop Small Saturday, Cyber Monday, all of those good things. So it is right around the corner, it is on people’s minds. So definitely, there’s a focus on the consumer spending right now, but this also has a business-to-business component.
“If you’re a business in the Quad-Cities, and you need a good or service to run your business, or to make your products, and that good or service is available in the Quad-Cities, we want you to look at where you’re purchasing from. And if you’re able to, it’s available here, prioritize keeping your money here.”
The chamber is encouraging to people to share photos of local businesses on social media with the hashtag #KeepItQC.
“It’s kind of grassroots, but it’s not just an ad campaign that’s here for six weeks and gone. This is something we want to be sustainable, and changing habits doesn’t happen overnight. We realize that, so you’re going to continue to see this messaging from us.”
For more information, visit KeepItQC.com.