The Ajo District Chamber of Commerce and Local First Arizona (LFA) are announcing a new campaign encouraging the Ajo community to Love Ajo, Shop Ajo. Shop Ajo is a reminder that shopping at locally owned businesses enriches the community as a whole. According to the Institute of Local Self Reliance, locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, link neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.
However, there is a myth out there that shopping local is more expensive than going to the big box store and this is not true. These examples from Ajo demonstrate how you can save money shopping at independently owned businesses compared to national chains and online stores.
1. Myth: "Appliances are cheaper from a big box store." Busted: When you buy an appliance from K-5, delivery, installation, and disposal of the old appliances are all included. If you ever need that appliance serviced, K-5 is just around the corner which greatly reduces the lifetime cost of the appliance. Try getting that kind of service from one of those stores ending in "mart" or "depot."
2. Myth: "I have to drive to Phoenix to get dry cleaning done." Busted: For years Ajo Transportation has been offering a drop off and pick up dry clean service. For just $5 Ajo Transportation will take your load to the cleaners. Think you could drive to Phoenix for $5 in gas?
3. Myth: "I have to shop at Sprouts or Whole foods to eat healthy." Busted: Olsen's Marketplace has a wide range of organic and gluten free offerings and the Authentically Ajo Farmers Market has better than organic produce grown right here in Ajo. Beginning in February, customers can even use their SNAP benefits at Authentically Ajo Farmer's Market to purchase produce that has been picked within 24 hours of when you buy it.
4. Myth: "I can buy tires cheaper online than in Ajo." Busted: Once you include delivery, mounting and balancing, several local tire shops become cost competitive with online tire markets. Are you able to pay cash? A.T. Tire and Maintenance offers a cash discount.
5. Myth: "I'm redoing my yard, so I'll have to make a bunch of trips to Phoenix." Busted: Ajo Botanical Company offers full service landscaping and their prices on trees are tough to beat. You can buy brick for your walkway at True Value and Bush Sand & Gravel has you covered on decorative rock.
6. Myth: "There's a birthday coming up, so I need to get on Amazon to buy a gift." Busted: No need! Spoil your wife with a facial and private yoga session from bloom. Get some beautiful silk flowers from Ajo Flower Shop for Mom. Buy Dad that new socket set he's been wanting from Kord's NAPA. Help your husband look his best with some designer clothes from aVita Boutique. Need something totally unique for that person who has everything? How about an old-fashioned tin sign from Sue's Flower and Gift Shop or some yard art from Vasquez North of the Border?
Other than the benefits of saving money and making less trips to Phoenix, shifting even 10% of your spending to local businesses positively impacts Ajo's economy and community. Four times more money stays in Arizona when spent at local business compared to national chain stores. The money that stays in the local economy can then be distributed to public goods and services like schools, teachers’ salaries, libraries, public safety, and other essential programs.
Local First Arizona Director Kimber Lanning explains that Shop Ajo is meant to be a reminder for consumers to think “Local First” when choosing where to shop. “Every dollar that you spend has an impact on the local economy. Studies show shifting your spending from national to locally owned businesses creates new jobs and keeps up to four times more money in Arizona.” said Lanning. “If each shopper shifted just 10% of their spending from national chains to independent businesses, that would add up to a huge investment in creating a more prosperous and vibrant community in Ajo.”
On February 12th, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. the Ajo Chamber and LFA invite you to the launch party of Love Ajo * Shop Ajo. Hear the scoop on the new Shop Ajo campaign and learn more about the impact your dollar has in your community with a presentation from the organizers. Enjoy free food, drink specials, and door prizes while learning about shifting your spending from nearby cities and online retailers to Ajo businesses. Business owners are also encouraged to come learn information and recieve print materials to educate their patrons on the benefits of shifting more of their spending to Ajo businesses. The launch party is free to attend and will be held at Oasis Cafe (28 Plaza, Ajo, AZ 85321). Click here to RSVP on Facebook, and we'll see you there!