Vision West speakers Karalea Cox and Deb Nelson visited Adams County this week to ignite a GoLocal! ND campaign in Adams County. During the presentation, the speakers had an open discussion with members of the community to discuss how a shop local business initiative can spur local growth in the area.
Executive Director of the Hettinger Area Chamber of Commerce and Adams County Development Corporation Jasmin Fosheim said that the speakers were very glad to see what Hettinger was already doing to encourage locals to care for their community.
“They were excited to see the events and initiatives we already have going on in Adams County,” said Fosheim.
Even before the campaign, the Chamber had initiatives in place like the perks card program and the local business spotlight articles in local papers to support businesses.
Fosheim said that building the GoLocal campaign is more than just telling people to spend more money in town. Instead, Fosheim said she likes to encourage local pride and engagement through events like Helping Hettinger Day and the Wired community group.
“I think the message shop local is important,” said Fosheim, “but I think convincing people that it is important to shop local is a byproduct of helping them recognize the importance of being local and loving local.”
Fosheim continued, “I think if you create a community that people love whole heartedly, they will be so passionate about the community that they will recognize the importance of shopping local.”
During the GoLocal event, the guest speakers discussed ways to encourage community engagement. One major goal of the GoLocal! ND campaign is to shift 10% of people’s spending to local businesses.
Fosheim said that it’s important to keep in mind that these goals apply to more than just Main Street businesses.
“It’s important for every business in every sector,” said Fosheim, “Not just retail or food, but also our manufacturing businesses, healthcare, and agriculture.”
One way Fosheim said that Adams County can reach it’s goal of the GoLocal campaign is to focus on what makes Hettinger and it’s surrounding communities unique.
“It’s easy in rural to focus on the deficiencies of the community, but that’s not how you attract and retain people to stay in the community,” said Foshiem. “We need to be having the conversation about how and why people love Hettinger and Adams County.”
At the event, locals cited a safe community, good healthcare, community minded people, and the fact that there are always events to attend as just some of the many reasons that Adams County is a great place to live.
Overall, Fosheim said she thought that it was great that business owners made the effort to attend the event.
“It was really great to see business owners and community members from all areas of our community attend the event,” said Fosheim. “It’s really exciting that there are people excited about helping our community thrive.”