Chamber

A committee of the New Holstein Area Chamber of Commerce developed the “Local Matters” logo above which is on a variety of promotional items which can be purchased. The logo also can be used as part of other businesses’ promotional or advertising materials.

own interests and the needs of their local customers, thus guaranteeing a much broader range of products and services.

Service is a huge part of supporting local businesses, Bosma said. “Local businesses do business with a handshake and a smile,” he said. Local purchases provide a better long-term value to consumers because local business owners have a vested interest in their community and neighbors.

Connections with schools, etc.

Local matters because it maintains a community’s character. Locally owned businesses provide a foundation for the web of connections and trust that is essential to a healthy community, Bosma said, highlighting the connection between businesses, schools, churches and the general population.

Locally owned businesses reflect the local culture and are often a source of community pride and an attraction to visitors, Bosma said. Many if not all New Holstein businesses attract customers from Kiel, Chilton and well beyond. The point of “Local Matters” is to make sure New Holstein residents first contemplate what products and services they can get right in New Holstein before heading out of town.

Beside fuel expenses and wear and tear on a vehicle, consumers’ time should have some value to it and be calculated into whether or not it makes sense to drive out of town to save a few dollars on an item. Consumers also should not assume prices will be cheaper elsewhere as some product manufacturers dictate the price at which all retailers must sell

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their products.

Consumers also sometimes raise the

concern that they cannot find the items they want in a small town, and that can be true. But local business owners encourage consumers to let them know if they do not see what they want—often it can be ordered, or repeated requests might influence what products they stock. In addition, local businesses are forever changing, upgrading and expanding, and what they offered for products and/or services today might be a lot different than what it was two years ago when the customer last checked out that store.

Local business owners also provide leadership and support, taking an active role in their community. “Small business people are the community’s biggest supporters because they have a vested interest in the strength of the community,” Bosma added. Many organizations, benefits, etc. do not think twice about asking local businesses for donations of money, products or services, and businesses usually do so willingly with no strings attached. Simple common courtesy would dictate that those same consumers would not have to think twice about patronizing those same local businesses.

New Holstein Area Chamber of Commerce members are continuing to push the “Local Matters” theme through the use of tote bags, stickers, counter signs and more, all bearing the “Local Matters” logo. Items were passed out in last summer’s New Holstein Firemen’s Parade, and testimonial ads are currently being developed.

In addition to Bosma, the committee which developed Local Matters was comprised of Sonny Schaar, Melissa Reese, Kerri Brantmeier, Renee Jaeckel, Mike Hartmann, Wendy Jacobs, Jim Straw and Pam Van Dera. Jaeckel is the executive secretary of the Chamber, and the rest are owners or employees of New Holstein businesses.

As Bosma often said to business owners when he was president of the Chamber, “You are the Chamber.” Like most small town Chambers, the New Holstein Area Chamber of Commerce is nothing more than a collection of local business representatives volunteering their time to help themselves and other existing businesses. Suggestions and participation are welcome from all members.

Any local business interested in purchasing any of the promotional items for “Local Matters” should contact Straw at JB Signs. The items include T-shirts, stickers which can be put on receipts or notes to customers, lanyards which can be worn with employee badges, items to give away such as pens and magnets, and much more. Businesses also are welcome to use the “Local Matters” logo on any of their own promotional materials as well.

Straw also said business owners and their employees should continue to thank customers for shopping locally.