Amid an unprecedented economic recession, more than forty-five (45) local organizations have joined forces to support the ShopLocal campaign, an initiative created by The Bahamas Federation of Retailers (BFR) to stimulate economic growth by encouraging citizens and residents to support local businesses both large and small by shopping at home.
Retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers are the second-largest private-sector employers in the country, collectively employing more than 25,000 persons. Comprising mostly small businesses, this sector’s survival in the wake of a global pandemic relies heavily on a behavioral shift where local consumers choose to predominantly shop local wherever possible instead of shopping with foreign businesses – whether online or while traveling.
The ten-week campaign launches today and is sponsored by the Mall at Marathon, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., Southwest Plaza, A.I.D, Furniture Plus, Graham Thompson, and The Bahamas Light Industries Development Council. The initiative features radio ads, billboards, social media marketing, and newspaper ads designed to educate local consumers about the direct connection between their purchase decisions, national employment, and the Bahamian economy’s health.
“Now, more than ever, we need everyone to consider the financial impact and consequences of every shopping choice,” stated Alannah van Onselen, BFR – ShopLocal Director and President of Bahama Hand Prints. “I cannot think of a more important initiative to support. Our local economy depends on it. As a local manufacturer, our success as a company and all the jobs it supports relies on Bahamians taking pride and supporting all that is Bahamian. We hope this important initiative will help to change consumers’ hearts, minds, and shopping behaviors to strengthen local businesses, our economy, and our collective standard of living.”
Local businesses, notably small and medium-sized enterprises, play a significant role in the nation’s economic recovery, with the government committing more than $250M in funding to the Small Business Development Centre over the next five years. An increase in buyers choosing to shop local instead of abroad is needed to amplify this investment and generate more wealth within the community.
When local consumers ShopLocal, they help to:
- Support thousands of existing local jobs and create new ones
- Build the economy by keeping money within the community instead of going to a far-away corporation
- Grow entrepreneurship, innovation and diversify the local economy
“In this economic environment, consumers are rightfully careful about every dollar they spend, but they often assume that shopping abroad brings greater savings, and that is not always true,” stated Elizabeth Ramsay, Nassau Tile Managing Director. “The landed cost of imported goods can often be higher than the cost of goods available locally. In addition, the added value of seeing and touching the product in person and having quick access to it once purchased are further incentives to shop local rather than abroad – not to mention it facilitates ease of exchanges and, depending on the item, the ability to utilize product warranties which you would otherwise relinquish by shopping abroad.”
ShopLocal participating merchants include A.I.D., Bahama Handprints, Bahamas Supply Agencies, Bahamas Supply Air Conditioning, Bijoux Terner, Blanco Chemicals, Brass & Leather, Caribbean Bottling Company, Carpet World, CBS Bahamas, Clarks, Coin of the Realm, Cole’s of Nassau, Custom Computers, Cycles Unlimited, Dollar Plus, Furniture Plus, Jimmy’s Liquor Store, John Bull, John Watling’s, John’s Shoes, Jolly Roger, Kelly’s House & Home, Kelly’s Lumber, Liquid Courage, Maison Décor, Master Technicians, Morley for Men, Nassau Tile, Paint Suppliers, Pandora, Relish Socks, Rip Curl, Rubins, Sabrina Boutique, Seventeen Shop, Shayne’s, The Athlete’s Foot, The Perfume Bar, The Sign Man, The Sports Centre, The Shoe Village, and Young’s Fine Wine.
For more information or to become a participating merchant or sponsor, visit shoplocalbahamas.com.
Fusion Integrated Marketing Communications
T: (242) 422-4494