Have you made your holiday shopping list yet? When you're checking it twice, one organization wants you to considering shopping 'Syracuse First.' The group calls themselves Syracuse First and Monday, they're kicking off a campaign to get more people to shop locally. Our Iris St. Meran has more on this effort to stimulate the local economy.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- "Eat Where You Live" is written on the gate outside Empire Brewery. And that's the sentiment the organization 'Syracuse First' is echoing in their Shop Syracuse campaign.
"We're used to going to malls and we're used to going to chain stores. There's just a comfort and there's a habit. We want to get people to start thinking about the locally owned businesses," said Syracuse First Founder Chris Fowler.
Angela Murphy is the co-president of one of those locally owned businesses, Organically Hip which she started from scratch with her best friend. They start making organic baking mixes, brownies and cookies, which are sold in stores around the region.
Murphy said, "We started this business as a hobby, something to occupy our extra time. We were both stay at home moms, but we didn't want to go back to full time jobs because we wanted the flexibility for our kids."
They joined Syracuse First to network and will participate in the group's Shop Syracuse Campaign. The main event is the Buy Local Bash where they will showcase their culinary creations along with other businesses.
"I think it's important that as a business in the community, that we all pull together and try and get and keep those local dollars as local as we can," said Murphy.
"We're not suggesting that the chain stores and big box stores don't exist. This isn't about pretending that they're not around and they're not important,” Fowler said. “This is about taking an opportunity to think local first. The message is buy local, but really we want people to think local first."
By having that mentality, Fowler says positive changes will start to happen from an economic boom to adding jobs.
The Buy Local Bash is Monday at 6 p.m. at Benjamin’s on Franklin in Syracuse's Armory Square.