We’re launching our new readers’ choice awards in today’s edition of the Plaindealer and online at ouraynews.com.
You might wonder why we’ve taken this on, in addition to the other changes we’ve made since becoming publishers 10 months ago.
We want this to be the community’s newspaper and for you to have a voice. We provide that here on our opinion page each week, but even if you don’t write letters to the editor, you can still use that voice by supporting your local favorites by voting for them in this contest.
There are other reasons to resurrect a readers’ choice contest, which many newspapers across the country host every year. These reasons include:
- To encourage shopping local.
- To celebrate businesses based here in Ouray County.
- To help give locally owned businesses a marketing tool to help promote themselves not only to people who live here, but also visitors who want advice and recommendations.
- To remind all of us what Ouray County has to offer and how we can be stronger together by shopping local.
According to a study from the American Independent Business Alliance, shopping local helps the whole community through something called the “multiplier effect.” This takes into account the direct and indirect impacts of spending by businesses in the local economy and the additional consumer spending that happens when employees, business owners and others spend their income in the local economy.
For every $100 you spend at a locally owned business, $68 stays in the community. At a national chain, only $43 stays in the community, according to the study.
Maybe contests like this will make us all think twice about whether we really need to drive to the next county to purchase something. Maybe we’ll consider whether the family-owned local pharmacy can fill a prescription, or whether we could pick this gadget up at the hardware store instead of buying it on Amazon.
We’re hoping you will participate. We’re hoping businesses enjoy having their supporters rally for them. We’re hoping the winners will appreciate their awards they can proudly display and use to market themselves year-round.
In the end, no matter who wins the titles in each category, we all win by celebrating locally owned businesses in Ouray County and remembering the importance they play in our community.