Blue Band program celebrates 1 year

The Grand Junction Chamber hands out local preference Blue Bands at JUCO.

It has been one year since the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce first asked local consumers to think blue.

Participants in the Chamber’s Blue Band/Buy Local campaign celebrated the one year anniversary of the campaign Thursday by handing out blueberry muffins and blue band bracelets to Junior College World Series spectators at the entrance to Suplizio Field. The campaign was first announced at JUCO last summer.

About 150 Mesa County businesses have “jumped on the blue band wagon,” as the campaign’s bumper stickers encourage shop owners and customers to do. Blue Band businesses can advertise the campaign with a sticker in their front windows, offer discounts to shoppers who choose to buy local, or hand out the bands and bumper stickers.

LuAnn Harrah, owner of Harrahs Hair Skin & Nails at 1005 N. 12th St., has rolled out numerous Blue Band discounts during the campaign’s first year. Harrah said she joined the campaign to help all local businesses attract customers.

“It gets our name out there and if it helps others, it helps us,” she said.

StarTek Recruiting Manager Jason Crowell got his colleagues into the campaign by offering bands to every employee and by rounding up a few volunteers to help make a video for the campaign’s recent “Singing the Blues” video contest. StarTek, located at 630 S. Seventh St., won the contest with a video advertising the campaign.

“We don’t sell anything locally, so it’s not about that for us. It’s about buying locally,” Crowell said. “I know keeping jobs in the valley keeps people in the valley, and buying locally helps keep jobs here.”

Blue Band Co-chair Nate Wallace, who owns CommWest, 302 South Ave., said the first year has gone smoothly for the campaign. He said it’s hard to measure the campaign’s success, but he believes the campaign achieved its goal of making people think before they buy.

“We just want people to think about where they’re spending their money,” he said.

Wallace hopes to keep that message on people’s minds in the next year of the campaign. The next big effort in the campaign will be a push to buy local during back to school shopping season, he said.

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Here are the two runners-up in the Chamber’s Singing The Blues — Blue Band Wagon video contest:



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