Marketing the ‘Shop Local’ Message Is a Local Priority

by RaeAnne Marsh

In the Town of Gilbert, the “shop local” message is getting a boost from local entities that recognize what’s at stake — its own municipal government and the local chamber of commerce. “The ‘Shop Gilbert’ campaign is vital to our community as it informs citizens about the importance of shopping local,” says Mayor John Lewis. “Tremendous benefits occur when we shop in our own neighborhoods. Our business community and the sales tax money generated help to continuously improve the Town of Gilbert, keeping it clean, safe and vibrant.”

“All Gilbert businesses are welcome to be a part, not just [Gilbert Chamber of Commerce] members,” says Chamber President Kathy Tilque, explaining participating businesses are promoted on the Shop Gilbert website.

Recognizing that “we didn’t used to have a lot here, and residents were used to shopping elsewhere on their way home,” as Tilque observes, Gilbert took a proactive approach once the San Tan Mall opened and the area began seeing the advent of car dealerships and other major business growth. Shop Gilbert, sponsored by the Town of Gilbert, The Gilbert Republic and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce as a result of a task force that also involves the local school district and individual business owners, has promoted the message through banner signs across Gilbert Road, photo contests and other interactive efforts.

Latest is a video campaign that includes four segments. Each video emphasizes different industries, all of which contribute to the town’s tax base. All videos of the Shop Gilbert campaign were scripted by Tad Peelen, part owner of Joe’s Real BBQ and member of the Shop Gilbert task force. They were produced by Gilbert-based 4th Wall Productions and exclusively feature Gilbert-based locations. Videos will be aired on the town’s government Channel 11 and as a public service announcement at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, as well as on the Shop Gilbert website.

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