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08.29.2018

Accountability in the Buy Local Initiative

Instead of national numbers, I will be putting my own spending in this article to illustrate how we impact our community.

I have 2 kids – 1 in elementary and 1 in Jr. High. I spent a total of $170.68 in school supplies for both of them. I also spent $142.00 in Back to School clothes and shoes for both of them (thank you Crazy Days for some AWESOME deals). I am going to pat myself on the back and say YAHOO for keeping that number significantly below the national average of $687 per person (!!!) but you might be asking yourself how this is about local spending and accountability. You see, in a moment of cuteness one of my children asked me for some locker supplies from an online retailer and I said yes. Me! the one who has been weaning herself off of Amazon and Target since she moved here….relapsed. The total tax that could have gone to our city is only $4.35 BUT I can’t just shake that off and say its ONLY $4.35. BPS has ~683 students and even if 79% ** of those had $4.35 in taxes that went outside of our community it would equal $2,344.65. That is a number that cannot be shrugged off and is at the crux of why the sales tax conversation is so important to our community.

Another number to take into consideration is the actual dollars spent on the supplies themselves. That ~$68 in locker supplies were purchased from a large retailer that is not physically in our State, County or City. Now we bring up the importance of recirculation. The local brick and mortar store, even if it is not locally owned, hires local employees…..your neighbor, your son, your daughter, etc. Recirculation is where it’s at and we, as tax payers, get a huge return on money that gets spent over and over and over in our county and cities.

We all want the same thing for our area - A vibrant community with a strong economy. Let’s embed Buy Local into our DNA and change our culture. 

**79% of Americans shop online according to a survey from Pew Research.

 

08.15.2018

Is it too early to start talking about holiday shopping? Yes? Well, I can turn it into a Back to School shopping discussion.

The National Retail Federation lists out the 2017 Top Ten Consumer Spending Trends and Back to College and School are in the top 3. Average planned spending per person for Back to College/School is between $969.88 and $687.72. NRF is estimating that total spending for K-12 schools and college combined will reach $82.8 billion for 2018. Let’s put this in perspective. We spend more than what 70% of the Countries in the world can produce in goods and services over the course of a year (GDP).

What happens to that Back to School money once you have spent it?

If each shopper shifted just 10 percent of their spending from outside our community to local businesses, that would add up to a huge investment in supporting job creation in our area with more diversified revenue that creates opportunities for our friends and neighbors.

Behaviors are hard to change. There is a study out there that states it takes just over 2 months to create a habit*. I would like to see us take a stand and make a change that will impact our communities bottom line, just in time for the Holidays. Look for what you want locally first. Buy Local First. Start with some Back to School shopping and see where that takes us come November and December.

Local businesses are the foundation for a healthy and vibrant communities. Keeping our money circulating and recirculating in Bottineau County is the key to building community wealth that continues to reinvest in the places that we live and work.

* Lally, Phillippa Published online 16 July 2009 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com)

 

06.26.2018

Newsletter 

 

 

05.29.2018

Concerns over Sales Tax

Sales Tax has been decreasing in Bottineau County and there are many questions over what the underlying reason is. Who is to blame? The large percentage of the blame lays with us, the shoppers. Instead of thinking about what we can buy within our community we make that purchase in another town or push ‘Buy Now’ on our online cart. We forget that every purchase outside of our County/City and every online purchase comes with hidden costs to our community. The local brick and mortar store, even if it is not locally owned, hires local employees…..your neighbor, your son, your daughter, etc. Your online or out of town purchase could cost your neighbor their job and it takes money away from our community in the form of lost sales tax. Those tax dollars go towards our local community and whenever you don’t make a purchase here, you take that money out of local circulation. When purchases are made at a local business that dollar gets recirculated. Recirculation is where tax payers see the greatest impact. Each time it is spent, it reduces our tax burden.

*We recognize that there are just some things you may not be able to purchase locally. So, think of the items you can get locally. Are you purchasing those items out of town because you’re already there? Before making an online purchase or picking the item up while you’re out of town, ask yourself, Can I get that at home? Vision West ND

Buy Local Campaigns can be very effective when it changes the culture and spending habits of the area. Our first thoughts when making our shopping lists should be, can I buy this in Bottineau County?

We all want the same thing for our area - A vibrant community with a strong economy. Let’s embed Buy Local into our DNA and change our culture.

 

 

05.03.2018

Bottineau Area Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization who is devoted to making a difference in the community.  Now in existence for over 8 years, BACF continues to strive to expand its programs and offerings to the community. We hope that you will be able to take part in one or more of the many exciting events or projects that we are offering this year and experience firsthand the pride we take in supporting our cause.

 

In addition to administrating scholarships and managing funds for specific projects, BACF will start to provide grant opportunities for our community.  In 2018, we will be launching our BACF Grant program.  We fund based off 4 elements that support a vibrant community:

  1. Provides broad access to arts and culture.
  2. Ensures a vibrant and diversified economy.
  3. Creates quality education and learning opportunities for all ages.
  4. Promotes Recreation.

**All applications that are requesting the BACF to participate in a grant that fulfills a Community Match requirement will be reviewed by Bottineau County EDC.

 

Grant Applications for all funds are due to Bottineau Area Community Foundation @ 519 Main St, Bottineau, ND 58318 by 5:00 p.m. on June 1st.  Please contact Whitney Gonitzke at 701-228-3922 for a full application and grant guidelines. 

 

The BACF is Local People and Local Donations coming together to meet Local Needs and solve Local Problems. 

 

*If you have an interest is starting a scholarship fund for our area or a project for the BACF to get involved in, reach out to our office at 701-228-3922.

 

 

04.19.2018

From 2013 to 2017, the Bottineau County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has led or participated in multiple strategic planning initiatives. For example, World Café in 2014, Smart Growth America in 2016, St Andrew’s CHNA study occurs every few years and the I-Crowd was launched in 2017. The results from each of these brainstorming and planning meetings overlap.

In an effort to address the items that continue to appear in our needs assessments, the Bottineau County 2020 roll up has been developed to lead the EDC, Chamber and I-Crowd in their efforts to drive the community forward and provide a master document for tracking the many projects happening simultaneously. Leveraging comprehensive research and public input from community members, the Bottineau County 2020 strategic vision plan identified five strategies focused on key elements of Bottineau County’s competitive position, future opportunities, and top challenges.

Each strategic plan has been created with the idea that our area has wanted to improve the quality of life for current residents and also attract and retain young families. As this has been our focus for many years, we are perfectly aligned with the Main Street Initiative launched by Governor Burgum. Governor Burgum stated, “It takes safe, healthy cities with vibrant, walkable main streets and downtowns to attract and retain a skilled workforce.”

 

Our focus in the coming months will be to address the five strategies identified in the Bottineau County 2020 plan.

  1. Design and Implement an Enhanced Economic Development Marketing Program
  2. Make Bottineau County a More Competitive Recreation and Cultural Destination for Residents and Visitors
  3. Improve Bottineau County’s Aesthetics through Strategic Community Beautification and Gateway Efforts
  4. Create a strategic plan for the future of our current community arena and/or continue research project on the construction of a new arena.
  5. Advance Local Education and Workforce Development Pipelines in Bottineau County

 

Watch this space for updates on each of these 5 points. You will be hearing more about how you can be involved, or come visit with me to see what you can do!

 

03.22.2018

A year ago, I accepted the position of Director of Bottineau County Economic Development Corporation and moved my family here from Billings, Montana. This fulfilled a dream to someday live in the beautiful area where my husband grew up and where we had spent many pleasant family vacations.

 

During this first year, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the area, the businesses and activities available or not, seeing firsthand the ups and downs of life on our Main Streets. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to delve into studies and forums giving potential assistance to solving local problems. Your input at gatherings such as I-Crowd and others give me insight and energizes me for future endeavors to enrich this already exceptional part of the great state of North Dakota.

 

Specific areas this office is currently focused on, some in partnership with Chamber of Commerce:

  • Business Retention
  • I-Crowd Meetings
  • Place Branding
  • Child Care Research

 

Ideas gathered this past year have converged to give direction for the future of Bottineau County, labeled Bottineau County 2020. Bottineau County 2020 has the potential to bring Bottineau County into new territory of livability and development. You will be hearing more about how you can be involved. Or come visit with me to see what you can do! Watch this space to see frequent updates from the Chamber and EDC as we work together as a community to build, strengthen and diversify our county.

 

Whitney Gonitzke

 

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Posted 11/20/17 (Mon)

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