New approach involves connecting businesses as well as customers
by Amber Parcher | Staff Writer | Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009
The Silver Spring and Wheaton county-funded "buy local" programs are picking up the reins of last year's test run and piecing together a new plan that aims to build bridges between businesses as well as luring in more customers.
The programs had a slight funding scare this spring when the County Council hesitated to refill the campaign's one-year $68,000 pilot grant. But the grant was replenished for fiscal year 2010, and after a change in the programs' leadership, Buy Local Silver Spring and Local First Wheaton are back in business.
Paula Sternberg, the programs' new manager, works out of the Latino Economic Development Corporation's Wheaton office, which is a small business-development nonprofit based in Wheaton and Washington, D.C. Last year, LEDC suggested that the county fund two buy-local campaigns, one each for Wheaton and Silver Spring. Buy-local campaigns draw consumer attention to local businesses through marketing campaigns and other practices.