If you haven’t noticed lately there has been a huge push to shop local, buy local and think local first in almost every city across America. All of these movements have one thing in common, they want you to spend your money at local businesses rather than big box stores.
The problem that most of us face is that big box retailers are getting really smart about making their stores look more “boutique-like” or feel like a hometown business. They’ve gotten so good that even the savviest shopper can’t distinguish between a truly local indie business and one owned by a big box corporate giant.
“I’ve spoken with hundreds of people who say they want to buy from local businesses but nearly all of them admitted that they need to be reminded and didn’t really know who’s locally owned,” states Heidi Butzine, creator of the Certified Locally Owned™ program, “that’s why I created the Certified Locally Owned program, to give local independent businesses a certification to help them stand out and get shoppers to take notice.”
Heidi spent 18 months researching and writing her now best-selling book, “Shop Local: A Practical Pain-Free Guide to Shopping With Purpose” to give people easy-to-use tips and tools to put local businesses first and make buying local a daily routine.
She started her campaign in the Beach Cities of Southern California where she’s proudly lived her entire life. It started slowly since many business owners, especially retail stores were hesitant to sign up at first. Heidi tells us that, “They assumed we were just another advertising gimmick and not a business certification that’s part of a bigger shop local movement.”
As part of getting certified, a business is also featured at the consumer-focused website ShopLocal.Us where people go to find their locally owned businesses. “The traffic at ShopLocal website has really picked up, says Heidi. We’re now hearing that local merchants are getting asked by shoppers whether they’re Certified Locally Owned.” This consumer awareness and concern is getting local merchants to take notice and get certified.
Heidi says that they’ve kept the cost of certification as low as possible to encourage adoption. And starting at $49.95 for an entire year does seem like a pretty good deal. To learn more visit http://www.certifiedlocallyowned.com