Simply marvelous Tribune column by Mike Ladd of the Urban Enterprise Association. A reminder to business owners who may be reading: NA First is intended to be community-wide, and not confined to the downtown area.
… New Albany First is this community’s answer to the growing competition as cities across the metro-area and state refine their efforts to keep the local dollar within the confines of their communities. NAFirst is this town’s first organized, organically grown “Buy Local/Buy Independent” program. It grew out of a $300 investment that produced 5,000 fliers that were distributed to 40-plus locally owned businesses during the last holiday season. That flier described the impact a single dollar spent with a New Albany business has in terms of creating jobs and leveraging other dollars spent locally …
… This is a town of entrepreneurs. It is a hidden industry in this town. Entrepreneurs need to be supported. This program does that. The local entrepreneur industry without question brings in people from across the metro area and probably from outside that area as well. The more we become known for these locally grown businesses, the more successful New Albany will be, and the more outside dollars will come into, and stay, in New Albany.
Because of the response to that flier, a group of citizens came together, developed a plan and consequently have created a budding new nonprofit organization that, if funded, will cover the City of New Albany, and spread the word about the importance of buying locally first. For the first time that I am aware of, New Albany actually has a volunteer-based organization that has been built from the ground up, not the top down. That alone ensures success.