Janai Chavez of San Jose and 3-month old daughter, Evangelina, look for something in the baby section at Morgan Hill’s Thinker Toys, located in the Vineyard Town Center. File photo

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the City of Morgan Hill is joining the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Morgan Hill and the Downtown Association to urge people to “buy local.”

The focus of the city’s Buy Local campaign is to “further strengthen the shop local message, rebuild the business directory and enhance the visibility of all citywide businesses,” says a press release.

City staff hope to accomplish these objectives with robust social media activity and partnerships with other organizations in Morgan Hill that support increased local commerce.

A press release from the city notes that the success of small businesses translates to long-term economic vitality to support essential public services such as schools, parks, safety and recreation. “Such businesses make up the character of a community, create local job opportunities and support local organizations 250% more than non-local, big box retailers,” says the press release.

City officials estimate that when a resident buys local in Morgan Hill, up to 78% of the purchase revenue stays in the city. However, online purchases only bring 1% of the sales price to Morgan Hill.

“Where Morgan Hill residents shop matters,” Morgan Hill Economic Development Director Matt Mahood said. “Just a 1% shift to local spending from Morgan Hill residents would result in a $48,000 increase in annual tax revenue to fund citywide public safety and services. A 5% shift to local spending would result in a $240,000 increase. Every resident can make a positive impact when buying locally.”

Morgan Hill residents can participate in the Buy Local Campaign by redirecting their holiday spending, purchasing gifts at local retail shops and buying gift cards to any number of local restaurants, spas, salons and more, the press release says. Leaving a positive review on Yelp, following a business’s social media page and referring five friends are also valuable ways to support both the business and city coffers.

Business owners are also encouraged to visit the buylocalmorganhill.com website to offer holiday specials and ensure their business is listed in the “Shop 95037 Business Directory.”

Visit Morgan Hill, a local nonprofit that promotes tourism, fits right in with the city’s Buy Local campaign, according to Visit Morgan Hill Executive Director Krista Rupp. The organization is helping to share the Buy Local message through its content marketing, which includes blogs and short videos focusing on individual businesses to provide “a sense of the local shopping experience in Morgan Hill.”

“Visit Morgan Hill focuses on developing tourism by attracting new visitors and groups to stay overnight in Morgan Hill,” Rupp added in an email. “By nature, overnight visitors boost overall spending on local dining, activities and shopping. Tourism therefore provides incremental support to Morgan Hill’s businesses, economy, jobs and tax base.”

The Morgan Hill Downtown Association supports the Buy Local message year-round, according to MHDA Board Member Kerry Wallace. Some of MHDA’s winter holiday activities—such as the recent Dec. 2 Ladies Night Out and the Community & Cultural Center holiday tree—are designed to entice people to visit the downtown and stay for a while to spend some money.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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