Shop locally-owned business, says group |

Shop locally-owned business, says group

Anne Knowles

Think globally, but shop at locallyowned businesses.

That’s the motto of Truckee Meadows Conscious Community and Business Network, a group of 150 businesses and 30 organizations that are working to encourage businesses, government agencies and consumers to buy from local businesses.

“We’re trying to get dollars to recycle in our community,” said Richard Flyer, clinical director of Northern Nevada Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center and one of the founders of TMCCBN.

“It’s based on economics that have been proven a zillion times,” said Bruce Gescheider, owner of Moana Nursery in Reno, another member of the group.

It’s called the multiplier effect: Money is spent at a locally-owned business.

That business, in turn, buys goods and services locally.

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Those businesses also spend their earnings locally, and on and on.

Contrast that to locally-located chain stores that are owned outside Nevada.

Those stores return profits to their corporate headquarters, say, in Arkansas, and buy the bulk of their goods and services outside Nevada.

Flyer says, for example, that it has been demonstrated that a community loses up to three jobs for every single job created by a chain store because that chain spends its money outside the state as well as hurts smaller, local businesses with which it competes.

Many of the businesses involved in TMCCBN face competition from large, national chains, such as Wal-Mart and Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and Chili’s and Olive Garden restaurants.

But members say they are more interested in promoting locally-owned business and the benefits of doing business with them, than fighting chain stores that are a Goliath to their David.

“This is a positive, constructive movement,” said Flyer.

“We don’t spend our time worrying about what the chains are doing.

For me, there’s a bigger picture.”

That bigger picture, according to TMCCBN, is a healthier local economy and businesses that are invested in helping out.

“Good works can get done because local businesses are successful,” said Moana Nursery’s Gescheider.

TMCCBN was launched about eight months ago by a small group of business owners.

Since then, the group has launched a web site – with a growing business directory, created promotional materials through work donated by Whistler Creative, and started up monthly breakfast meetings.

The next meeting is scheduled for July 16th with Trip Barthel, former president of the Sparks Chamber of Commerce, speaking about the edge small business has over out-of-town competitors.

The meetings also are networking opportunities for members.

Heritage Bank, for example, a local bank that specializes in small business loans, has met several new customers through TMCCBN.

“We meet local owners and show how we can help them,” said Georgia Baker, assistant vice president and branch manager with Heritage.

“The organization banks with Heritage and we sponsor it.”

Eventually, the group wants to use the web site to host a virtual trade fair with coupons, rebates and other incentives for buyers who shop at participating locally owned businesses.

The initial target is other businesses, followed by organizations and government agencies, and finally consumers.

“I’ve always been a proponent of buying locally,” said Scott Hutcherson, owner of Honey Mountain Hams and a TMCCBN member.

“You get the local flavor, no pun intended.”