PROVIDENCE (WPRI) – The head of the Rhode Island Foundation says the Buy Local Rhode Island campaign isn’t just about boosting sales for a season, it’s about creating a habit of shopping locally year round.
The Buy Local campaign is going strong on Hope Street in Providence. Aronda Kirby, a shopper in Providence says, “When I’m spending my money, I want to make sure I have somebody that is familiar with the product, knows where they came from … I really make an effort to buy [products] made in the United States.”
Kirby says a few years ago, she had to make a conscious decision to shop local, now it comes naturally. That’s exactly what Neil Steinberg, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation is hoping for, by boosting the Buy Local RI campaign.
Steinberg says even without hard numbers to report, the push through the holiday shopping season was a success. “An awareness and people talking, there’s just a lot more buzz. We’re hearing a lot of activity on buylocalri.org of people going and posting and going and looking … and just a very good feeling of yeah, let’s do this in our backyard.” says Steinberg.
Now his goal is to create a year-round habit of people shopping locally and to also connect business with other businesses to buy supplies locally. Steinberg says, “When you buy local, you’re putting money back into the local economy. They’re hiring locally, they’re paying taxes locally, these are your neighbors and leaders down the street.”