Enquirer Herald

Chamber urges residents to buy local

The York County Chamber of Commerce wants residents to think locally this holiday season, whether they are shopping, dining, or hiring a contractor.

The chamber officially launched its "Buy Into It! York County" campaign Thursday. It's the third year the chamber has held a campaign to help local merchants with holiday sales. The theme is: "It's the most wonderful time of the year."

Rob Youngblood, president of the chamber, said this year's efforts are especially important because of the difficult economy and the challenges facing local retailers and small businesses. After the holidays, the campaign will continue to emphasize the importance of making local purchases first.

Youngblood Youngblood said beginning the campaign during the holiday season is important because 40 percent of retail sales happen in November and December.

While the initial focus is on retail and restaurants, Matt Sy, general manager of the heating and air conditioning firm Comfort Systems, Inc., said all business can benefit from dollars being spent locally.

Sy said he joined the shop-local campaign when he realized that many of the firms he was competing against were from Charlotte or beyond. If local contractors are used, he said, the money is spent here, taxes are paid here and the contractors buy locally and often employ locally.

"It's a continuous circle," he said.