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  • What is 'Think Local'?

    The Think Local movement is not about boycotting non-locally owned businesses or national chain stores, but instead it is about intentionally supporting locally owned businesses. Locally owned businesses sustain our community by employing our local citizens, who live and spend locally. This trend is gaining momentum throughout the country as more and more research is proving that dollars spent at locally owned businesses re-circulate into the community, allowing a greater percentage to stay local.


    Think Local is about building our community to be more healthy and sustainable through local connections: connecting farmers to local restaurants, grocers and school food programs; local entrepreneurs with local financial institutions; connecting procurement resources for manufacturers.

  • Why is the South Haven Area Chamber Initiating a 'Think Local' Initiative?

    The Chamber's motive in developing the Think Local Initiative is first and foremost to create awareness. Before clicking 'submit' on an online order, be sure you have considered making the purchase locally. Being informed of the direct impact to our community you as a consumer can make is key. Awareness is also a matter of being informed as to the scope of product, service, and selection that is available right in our own community. This includes a wide scope of purchase power: insurance coverage, vehicle purchases, where you send your children to school, where you place your home mortgage, where you choose to have the knee replacement, whether you buy that book online or at a local store, the contractor you hire to build your home, and Business to Business transactions. The awareness allows each of us to shift our thinking before we make a purchase; to make a conscious decision that can impact the future of our community.

    The Think Local concept also places a responsibility on the local business to be customer focused. This means being mindful of buying trends and providing competitive selection, pricing and service, and most importantly delivering and experience not available in a box store. The Chamber of Commerce can create awareness, but it is up to the local business to earn the loyalty of local consumers.

  • Top 10 Reasons to THINK LOCAL

    1. Recycle the Dollars: Up to $68 dollars of each $100 spent at an independently owned local store stays in the community!

    2. Saves Jobs, Creates New Ones: Local businesses use local income for local payrolls.

    3. Save Time & Money: Staying in town lowers travel expense and saves time traveling to outside areas.

    4. Improve Infrastructure: Local taxes pay for local infrastructure.

    5. We’re online! Many local retailers have websites to allow convenience of shopping from home.

    6. Service: You will receive better service from someone who knows you and values your business.

    7. It’s Neighborly! Locally owned businesses build a sense of community pride and involvement.

    8. Supports Local Charity: Dollars spent locally are often funneled back in the community by business owners who support local festivals, foundations, and non-profit organizations.

    9. Farm to Table: Local grocers and restaurants often purchase locally grown produce, providing the consumer with the freshest possible product .

    10. WE’VE GOT THAT! Retailers bring in product from all over the world to provide the local residents and visitors with brands and selection trending throughout the country.