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Gov. launches “MainStreet Shop Local” campaign

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By Special to the Monitor

Gov. Bill Richardson kicked off a statewide campaign that encourages New Mexicans shopping this holiday season to spend locally.

The Los Alamos MainStreet version of the promotion encourages residents to consider spending $50 per month at three different locally owned businesses.

“I know that this is going to be a tough holiday season for many New Mexico families who are feeling the financial pinch,” Richardson said. “But I also believe that many New Mexicans will be spending at least $150 on gifts and meals this holiday season. So I am asking them to spend that money to support local businesses and invest in their communities.”

For every $100 spent in New Mexico businesses, $68 dollars stays in the state, through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. That’s compared to $43, if those same $100 aren’t spent locally.

The State Economic Development Department estimates that if each employed New Mexican spends $50 in local shops and restaurants, the state economic impact could reach $27 million in the month of December.  

“Local small businesses account for more than 96 percet of our state’s workforce,” said New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Fred Mondragón. “This is an opportunity to make an impact on our local businesses around the state and help ensure their continued success and survival during this recession.”

Los Alamos MainStreet has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to introduce the 3/50 project as part of the Chamber’s CommunityMatters initiative.  There are links to learn more about the 3/50 project at www.fyiLA.com.

There also is a link to enter a monthly drawing to win three $50 Chamber Checks that may be used at local businesses.  

“We’ve had a good response   with entries and the first drawing will happen this month,” said Chamber Member Services Coordinator Katy Korkos.

The “MainStreet” campaign is part of a larger celebration of the 25th anniversary of the MainStreet program in New Mexico.  Anniversary events in MainStreet communities across the state will continue into 2010, and currently include an anniversary poster contest and a “Then and Now” photo contest.  

The New Mexico MainStreet program has 23 affiliated communities, including: Albuquerque (Downtown Action Team and Nob Hill),  Artesia, Belen, Carlsbad, Clayton, Clovis, Corrales, Deming, Farmington, Grants, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Las  Vegas, Los Alamos, Lovington, Portales, Raton, Roswell, Santa Rosa, Silver City, Tucumcari and Truth or  Consequences.