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12/19/2019 - Town Unveils New "Buy Local" Savings Card


First Selectwoman Touts Importance of Supporting Local Businesses

Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick unveiled today a first of its kind Fairfield Buy Local Savings Card as part of the Town’s on-going campaign to promote the importance of buying local. Residents can sign up for the card on-line through the fairfieldbuylocal.com website or by visiting participating merchants.

The Buy Local Savings Card entitles bearers to discounts or special offers at participating businesses as a thank you for shopping local. There is no cost for residents to enroll. The Savings Card is just the latest initiative to create awareness around the importance of supporting the mercantile and small business community that forms the backbone of the local economy. According to statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses remain a potent economic force, accounting for roughly half of all employment and two out of every three new jobs.

The Fairfield Buy Local campaign, launched this past year, has also featured billboard and window displays, lamp-post banners, radio spots and print advertisements and the revamped website. The Town of Fairfield and Fairfield Chamber of Commerce most recently sponsored a Welcome Station on Sherman Green as part of Small Business Saturday festivities, and unveiled a new video featuring local business owners who speak on the importance of buying local.

“This is really about community,” Ms. Kupchick remarked. “Local business owners are deeply vested in our Town and its future. They contribute in so many ways--not just in paying taxes--but they are often called upon and are there to support our schools, youth sports leagues, charitable causes and non-profit organizations. We need to be there for them when we make our spending decisions,” she added.

Ms. Kupchick observed, that when dollars are spent locally, they are often re-invested locally, helping build the local tax base. The First Selectwoman cited recent statistics from American Express, which sponsors Small Business Saturday, which determined that 67¢ of every dollar spent at independent small businesses stays within the local community, creating more economic activity.

Mr. Barnhart acknowledged that the retail sector continues to evolve and faces many challenges from rising rents and business costs to increased competition from big box stores and e-commerce giants. “We are truly blessed to have such a diverse mix of great restaurants, specialty stores and small boutiques that really add to the Town’s character and charm,” Barnhart remarked. “But, if these businesses are to survive and remain an integral part of our community, we need to support them,” Barnhart added.

Fairfield Chamber of Commerce President Beverly Balaz, who is partnering with the Town’s Economic Development Department on this initiative, added, “This is a really important issue for the Chamber and our members, and we are pleased to be working with the Town on this campaign. I read recently where the National Retail Federation expects Americans to spend more than $30 billion on-line this holiday season alone. Now, imagine what kind of an impact we might have if everyone shifted a small amount of their spending on-line to local businesses. We all need to be more mindful of how our individual spending decisions impact the businesses within the communities that we love.”

A list of participating merchants and offers can be found at fairfieldbuylocal.com. Fairfield businesses wishing to take part in the Fairfield Buy Local campaign can contact Mark Barnhart, Director of Community & Economic Development at (203) 256-3120 or mbarnhart@fairfieldct.org for more information.