Supporting local business during "Shop Local" month

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Local businesses are asking you to think about where you're spending your dollars. October is "Shop Local" month, and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is helping consumers buy locally through its Blue Band program.

The Blue Band program offers consumers discounts at participating Grand Valley businesses. After starting the program two years ago, Blue Band co-chairman Nathan Wallace said it continues to grow among consumers and businesses, and now includes 150 participating businesses.

"There really isn't much that you can't get here locally," Wallace said. "It encourages growth of our businesses, creates jobs, builds the tax revenue, and it just helps our community grow. If we can't help ourselves, nobody else is going to do it for us."

Dennis Hill, owner of Bookcliff Gardens, joined the program as soon as it started. He said it offers him the opportunity to compete with larger retailers that are able to offer discounts due to economies of scale.

"We're all looking for a deal and we all want to save money," Hill said. "So any little deals that we can offer people, along with the value added of service, selection and quality, helps."

Martin Duarte, owner of Premier Signs, said he's seen his business increase 20 percent since joining the Blue Band program two years ago.

"We offer buy one banner, get one free so a lot of people that hear about that want the buy-one-get-one-free, and then they actually become a customer of Premier Signs and stay," Duarte said.

Wallace said buying locally has a multiplier effect, as every dollar spent locally has a $3 impact to Grand Junction's economy.

From now through October 16th, the Chamber is holding a contest for residents who submit receipts of their purchases from local businesses. You can drop off a receipt at the Chamber, Mesa Mall, Crystal Books and the Ace Hardware in Clifton. More than 30 Blue Band businesses have donated prizes, ranging from furniture to gym memberships. See link below to know more.

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