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Somerton chamber renews Shop Locally campaign
SOMERTON — The chamber of commerce here is using the occasion of Saturday's Somerton Tamale Festival to remind residents to keep their money at home.
Amid vendor booths serving up steaming plates of tamales, the Somerton Chamber of Commerce will have in place an information booth from which it will spread its message to residents about the importance of shopping in local stores.
Saturday's festival starts at 11 a.m. on the city's Main Street.
The campaign actually began months ago with businesses displaying in their storefronts posters urging residents to patronize Somerton businesses. But Shaun Cassidy, the city's economic development director, says the chamber is now trying to take the campaign to the next level, starting with its participation in the festival.
The Shop Locally campaign seeks to “stimulate a gradual change in the buying habits of the community, so that they think first of shopping in Somerton businesses.”
That means convincing them to opt for spending their money among an estimated 90 businesses in the city rather that traveling to Yuma or San Luis, he said.
“We think that if 10 percent of the residents do their shopping in businesses in the city, that will be of much benefit. This phase of the campaign is directed at residents, so that they begin to use their buying power in their own community.”
The campaign coincides with the chamber's efforts to restructure itself a year and a half after declining membership led to calls for it to be disbanded. Recently, a new board of directors took the reins of the chamber.