Downtown Stuart launches ‘Shop Local | Shop Smart’

shop localThe City of Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Downtown Business Association of Stuart (DBA), and Stuart Main Street (SMS) last week officially launched a new shop local program. Shop Local | Shop Smart is an awareness campaign designed to educate shoppers about the benefits of shopping and dining at locally owned, brick-and-mortar businesses. Stuart Vice Mayor, Troy McDonald, joined DBA President, Patty O’Connell, June 12 at Stuart’s Coffee with the City Manager to present the program.

 “For every dollar you spend in a local, independently owned, brick and mortar businesses, three dollars is fed back into the community,” explained CRA Administrator, Teresa Lamar-Sarno. “So the best way to build your local economy is to Shop Local | Shop Smart!”

 Shop Local | Shop Smart was developed jointly by the City of Stuart with the CRA, DBA and Main Street. The educational program includes local newspaper and radio ads, a social media campaign, and in store materials. “This is an awareness campaign, so we are asking all of our downtown merchants to display the Shop Local | Shop Smart window sticker in their front windows or doors and place the informational materials in a highly visible location,” said O’Connell. “Having this information where customers can easily see it creates an opportunity to talk about how shopping locally not only benefits small business owners, but the local economy overall.”

Although Shop Local | Shop Smart focuses on Historic Downtown Stuart, which is home to over 50 locally owned shops, restaurants, and galleries, the logo and other materials can be adapted easily for use in other commercial districts. Involvement is optional and up to individual business owners, but O’Connell expects participation to be high for the awareness campaign, which does not include merchant discounts. All materials are available at www.Facebook.com/ShopLocalShopSmart.