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Help Build a Stronger and Greener Local Economy and Preserve St. Louis’ Unique Local Character

By Ed Mantels-Seeker, Board President, BUILD St. Louis

Spend your money wisely during these tough times – buy from local independents. Don’t let the St. Louis area become just another generic Anytown, overloaded with non-local chain stores and franchise businesses that drain money from our local economy and diminish St. Louis’ unique local character. National chain businesses aren’t always cheaper or the best value. And St. Louis’ locally owned independent businesses and homegrown chains provide much more than just good prices:
Unique Choices: Entrepreneurs at locally owned independent businesses aren’t stuck with a formula. They bring their own creativity and knowledge to their businesses to provide you with great selections and services that you won’t find elsewhere.

Better Service: Local owners and employees really know their businesses and their customers – and offer more personalized service and relevant advice. You’re important to them, and it shows!
A Greener Environment: Local indies better utilize land and existing buildings, helping to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable neighborhoods and town centers – while reducing sprawl, car use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

More Local Investment: Locally owned indie businesses and homegrown chains reinvest in our community at about THREE TIMES the rate of non-local chains and out-of-town online sellers. Plus, dollars you spend with true locals have a “multiplier effect” – much more of your money cycles back through other St. Louis-based businesses, conserving tax dollars and creating more St. Louis-area jobs. Local owners share local concerns with the rest of us and their profits stay in our community. They’re essential to our local prosperity and truly help build St. Louis.

BUILD St. Louis is spreading the word about “Buying Locally.” You may have seen BUILD Member door signs, handouts displays, and website buttons at some of your favorite local businesses. Our members are local independents and nonprofits who really care about keeping our neighborhoods distinctive, vibrant, and stable by building the local economy. From the Downtown Loft District to Old Orchard, from The Loop to Downtown Kirkwood, from Maplewood to South Grand, our nonprofit group helps promote Buying Locally from ALL City and County independents and homegrown chains, not just our members.

Why are local independent businesses joining BUILD St. Louis? Because they know there’s strength in numbers, as part of BUILD St. Louis’ City and County-wide campaign. By displaying the BUILD St. Louis logo, distributing our handouts to their customers, and linking their business to our website’s Community Buying Guide, they promote not only their own business but ALL independents who make the St. Louis area a better place to live and work. As BUILD’s membership and publicity efforts expand, thousands of people will divert more of their dollars to local independents and homegrown chains, creating a more secure and healthy pro-locals economy. In addition, BUILD St. Louis members receive more than they actually pay for in dues, thanks to some of our members’ and volunteers’ generous donations of time and services to our mission.

Businesses, nonprofit groups, and citizens are helping BUILD St. Louis make a difference. Business membership in BUILD St. Louis is open to local independent businesses and St. Louis-based chains, owned by residents of St. Louis City and County. For about $21 a month, members receive printed and online marketing materials, free member networking events, a year-long listing in our online Community Buying Guide, advertising discounts, and other great benefits. It’s a remarkable value. Small nonprofit groups can receive the same benefits for just $125 per year. And citizens can support BUILD’s mission with as little as $25.

Please take a stand for local independents and join our coalition! Visit our website at www.BUILDstlouis.org. E-mail questions to Ed Mantels-Seeker at info@buildstlouis.com.

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