“Small and locally-owned businesses create the majority of the jobs in the economy and we’ve got to do more as a business community to encourage spending with our own companies already right here in Memphis.”
This was a call to action from Chamber co-chair David Waddell, President & CEO of Waddell & Associates at the Chamber’s inaugural State of the Economy event in February.
When local companies spend money with each other, they spawn stronger local supply chains and create an economic multiplier effect. Every dollar that circulates locally boosts our local economic activity, employment and ultimately generates more tax revenue.
The economic impact of local spending is particularly easy to quantify with retail establishments. In fact, a study by the Institute for Self-Reliance found that every $100 spent at locally-owned businesses generated $45 of secondary local spending. For comparison, of that same $100 yielded only $14 recirculating into the local economy when it was spent with a non-local company.
A recent survey of our members revealed that helping increase business transactions and referral leads between Chamber members was the number one thing our membership wanted to see the Chamber emphasize in 2019.
As the Chamber and our partners continue to look for ways to cultivate a thriving business community in Memphis, we believe that encouraging spending between locally-owned businesses is one of the most important building blocks for a strong, diverse local economy.
Here are 3 steps you can take this week to help cultivate more business from local vendors.
1. Check the Chamber Member Directory Online.
Visit the Chamber Member Directory online to find local vendors or search for businesses who may benefit from your services. Though listings are for members only, the company listings are visible to the public so use this resource to find local companies who are making an investment in Memphis.
Businesses are listed according to services provided.
For members: Make sure your business contact information is up-to-date so your company is easy to find. It only takes a minute to review and update your information when you login to the member portal. Each record includes a key contact. This can be a great source for business leads.
2. Apply a ‘Memphis First’ Mindset to your Procurement Process
Set aside ten minutes this week to look at your accounts payable list and identify opportunities to replace a national vendor with a local or regional company.
If your company is large enough to have procurement staff, ask about the criteria they use to choose suppliers. Often staff assumes that going with the lowest priced vendor is the priority. In some cases, a local vendor may miss out with a bid that’s just a few hundred dollars more than a national supplier because cost was the only consideration. Train your staff to consider local preference when evaluating close bids.
And don’t forget that Chamber members have access to our Affinity Program which offers member companies exclusive discounts from Yuletide Office Solutions, ProTech Systems Group and Methodist Healthcare.
3. Ask for Help.
If you are looking to make a specific business connection or want a list of potential business partners to help take your business to the next level, we can help! Just fill out a Member Connect form and someone from our team will work to connect you with a specific contact or help cultivate a list of prospects or partners that can help your business reach new heights.
Not a member but want to learn more about the benefits of Chamber membership? Contact me to learn more about how the Chamber can help take your business to the next level.
Want to learn more about the benefits of increasing your business spend with locally-owned business? Click here.
Do you have any tips for reaching more local customers? We’d love to hear from you.
Membership Engagement Specialist
More from the Momentum blog....
Read a recap of our State of the Economy event here.
Find out more about the Economic Advantages of a ‘Memphis First’ Procurement Mentality here.
Patricia McKinney is the Chamber’s Member Engagement Specialist, dedicated to helping Chamber members grow their businesses and take advantage of all the benefits of Chamber membership.
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