By Abigail Blank, Alexandria Area High School senior
I never really understood the importance of doing business local until my junior year in my marketing class at Alexandria Area High School.
Like many of my other classes, we frequently had guest speakers who would come in and speak to the class. However, there was one specific presenter who delivered a message that stuck with me, Tara Bitzan of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. In short the message she delivered had us really look to see what our community has to offer and to spend our money here whenever possible instead of in another town or online.
I think the part that made her presentation stick out more than others was that the problem at hand (our local economy struggling) was something that I could personally make a difference with through my spending choices. The fact that I could help make a difference was one of the key factors that pushed me to team up with two of my classmates to create a doing business local campaign.
After several months of brainstorming sessions, project meetings, and collaborations with local entities, the Pride of the Lakes campaign was born to promote doing business local in Douglas County, MN. Through the creation of this campaign, I hope to not only make an impact myself, but also encourage others in our community to do the same. This campaign has made a large impact on my spending behaviors. Before, I would always order the things I needed online because of the convenience, but now I try to see if our local businesses have what I need first.
What I found out is that nine times out of ten, the things I need can be found right here. I also realized the great customer service that many of our businesses are willing to offer. The employees all go above and beyond to provide amazing customer service.
Alexandria truly does have everything we need. I encourage you as the reader to do two things. First, take a look to see what our town really does have to offer. Whether it’s clothing, food, gift items, services, etc., and second, take the pledge to do business local at PrideoftheLakes.com. This campaign has made a change in my life and it can make a change in yours as well!