Backyard economics: State backs shop local plea

Joyce McFarland says her 'shop locally' plea since taking office as President of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce is consistent with a statewide initiative called Backyard Economics.

Photo by QUENTIN ROUX

Joyce McFarland says her "shop locally" plea since taking office as President of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce is consistent with a statewide initiative called Backyard Economics.

Shop locally. That’s the call Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce President Joyce McFarland has been making repeatedly since taking office just three months ago. Now, there’s state and statewide support for an initiative called Backyard Economics, which has a bigger underlying strategy. In this Eagle i contribution, McFarland explains the logic. The Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with the State of Florida in a campaign to promote and encourage all Floridians to spend locally.

The effort is called Backyard Economics.

Florida’s Gross Domestic Product is 75 percent consumer spending, making where and how much our citizens consume key to our economic recovery.

Every dollar spent in our backyard — Florida — is spent many more times before its economic value is depleted.

We are partnering with others, such as, Florida Retail Federation, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida League of Cities /Mayors, Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, National Federation of Independent Business, and Florida TaxWatch.

All of these great organizations agree local spending works.

First, dollars spent locally are spent over and over again in our community. They are spent on wages to people who live in our community, and spend in our community.

They are spent on rent and utilities. They are spent on local and state taxes-then spent again on roads, schools, and police and fire services.

The organizers of the campaign believe we can plant the seed of recovery in our own backyards, by spending our dollars with local businesses that will reinvest them in our community.

On March 24, Gov. Charlie Crist joined business, chambers and associations from across the state to launch the program.

The campaign is similar to the one the state used to drive in-state tourism following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Soon you will be able to obtain a “Backyard” incentive card that will give you incentives at local businesses, as well as others participating throughout the state.

The Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to be partnering with the State of Florida to provide our members an opportunity to be a part of our economic recovery.

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