Chamber begins shop-local wristband campaign
The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has invested in 7,500 blue rubber wristbands in hopes of jump-starting the local economy.
Locals can pick up the bands at the chamber office, Mesa Mall or any business participating in the chamber’s new buy-local campaign, which launched Monday with the moniker, Blue Band Program.
Anyone wearing one of the wristbands, which are stamped with the message, “Buy local, support the Grand Valley,” can get discounts at participating businesses, which will be identified by “Jump on the Blue Band Wagon” bumper stickers in their stores, restaurants or other type of businesses.
The discounts are secondary to reminding people whenever they look at the blue band on their wrist that buying from local businesses helps keep dollars in town, chamber Executive Director Diane Schwenke said.
“There’s still some struggling going on. It’s still very up and down” in the local economy, Schwenke said. “Businesses in this area still need the support of local consumers.”
The campaign is open to businesses across Mesa County and extends to non-chamber members, Schwenke said. A list of participants is available at GJChamber.org/BlueBandWagon.asp.
Luann Harrah of Harrahs Hair Skin & Nails said she decided to join the Blue Band campaign to promote her business and help others stay afloat as well.
“We want to keep the dollars here, we want to keep the jobs here and we want everyone to be successful in the Grand Valley,” she said.
Nathan Wallace, a member of the chamber committee running the program with small businesses, said shopping in one’s community helps inflate job opportunities and tax dollars in a city.
“For every dollar spent locally it will turn over three times” here, he said. “The more business we can keep local, the more jobs and tax dollars we keep in our community.”
The program will run indefinitely, but the campaign’s momentum will pick up before key shopping seasons, such as back-to-school time and the holidays, Schwenke said. Blue bands will be handed out at this summer’s farmers market in downtown Grand Junction and during one night of the upcoming Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.