I often get asked how Shop Local was started… and I can’t take all the credit. Of course there is the concept of Shopping Local and it’s been around for awhile now but gaining popularity in the last 4 years. I LOVED the concept and decided that there needed to be tools to make this a true movement. As I went along trying to figure out how this would all work, pieces just seemed to fall into place that really came full circle and helped everyone that was involved. And by everyone I mean businesses, and shoppers, deal hunters, schools, nonprofits, the community and so many more.

Simply, my whole mission with Shop Local (a community co-op platform) is to:
1.)   Help businesses with marketing solutions that save them time and money.
2.)   Make fundraising easy for nonprofits and their supporters.
3.)   Make shopping & supporting local easier for people to help keep our money local instead of mostly online (overseas).
4.)   Connecting our community, businesses & nonprofits with one program to create a sense of family; a sense of belonging; a true sense of community.

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Throughout my 14 years in the marketing industry I saw the same everyday struggles that Shop Local now offers a simple solution! I’m going to break each point down a bit.

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1.)  Help businesses with marketing solutions that save them time and money.
In working with local businesses i found that most struggle with the same issues… time and money. The owners are busy doing EVERYTHING else that a business requires that they don’t have time to dedicate on marketing. Plus most are not marketing experts and have a hard time figuring out what’s all out there, what’s going to work for them much less keeping up with it all. I saw a need for an all-in-one type marketing solution as well as a shared community program that saves business owners not only money but time. Shop Local want to simplify marketing while getting businesses to work together. After all, there is strength in unity and collaboration!

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2.)  Make fundraising easy for nonprofits and their supporters.
For over 10 years I’ve been involved with community nonprofits and, as most people have, also been approached by kids selling popcorn, discount cards, etc. What I’ve heard is that fundraising is ‘SO MUCH WORK!” with lots of overhead (scrip) and management. I was thankfully approached by a local company looking to partner up to offer a free, simple and time saving fundraising solution! Now with a simple scan (picture) of your receipt as you support/shop at local businesses you choose what nonprofit that that business sends a pledged percentage of your purchase to. It’s super simple for the business as they just have to agree to a percent and HuTerra tracks all the transactions behind the scenes and sends the raised funds to the appropriate nonprofits!

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3.)  Make shopping & supporting local easier for people to help keep our money local instead of mostly online (overseas).
Businesses and Communities can say “Shop Local” until they’re blue in the face but if it’s not easy or convenient for the majority of customers, it doesn’t really happen. I really want to make it super easy and convenient with our App, Online Marketplace and more. That way people can start to see all the benefits of shopping local as well as our money staying local. We HAVE TO find a way to make this happen. As you can see from the stats below that online shopping can be a huge danger to local businesses which in turn help our community.4.)  Connecting our community, businesses & nonprofits with one program to create a sense of family; a sense of belonging; a true sense of community.
The beauty of this program, which I didn’t plan on it all working out so well, is that it really helps pull everyone in the community together. It has created a family, that people feel like they belong to and contribute! I love that communities have embraced the movement and are excited to get more involved in their community.

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I would love to hear from you! Any ideas, feedback and more is what has helped us grow into who we are.
Thank you for supporting local!