What is “Make Your Money Mean More”?

Make Your Money Mean More is a Buy Local Initiative presented by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. The goal of the program is to educate individuals and businesses about the benefits of spending money locally instead of shopping online or outside the community.

What’s the difference between spending money with a local retailer and buying the same product online? I can often get a better price over the internet.

It’s true that there are bargains to be had with online retailers, but let’s take a look at what you get when you buy something locally versus online. In both cases, you may get the product you want. However, when you purchase from a local retailer, you are also paying sales tax, which helps to fund local infrastructure. You are also helping to pay the salary and benefits for the local employees who then are able to turn around and pay their taxes and buy products and services that can help pay the salary and benefits for their neighbor – maybe even for you! When you purchase online, every cent leaves our community. It may seem like a bargain until the pothole in front of your driveway doesn’t get filled, or no one can afford to sponsor your child’s soccer team, or your neighbor’s house goes into foreclosure.

Are you suggesting that we only shop at locally-owned small businesses?

No. While it is true that a much larger percentage of your dollar stays in our community when you shop with a locally-owned business, chain retailers and big box stores also contribute to our local economy by paying their local sales and property taxes and by paying their employees who live and shop here.

How can I get involved?

As a consumer, your task is simple: Shop where you live. Most of the time, you probably already do. But there are probably a number of shops and restaurants in McLean County that you have never been to. Look around. Try something new. We bet you’ll come across something at least as good as you might find in surrounding communities – maybe even as good as you might find in Chicago, St. Louis or Indianapolis! Good products, good service, good food, great for the local economy! And tell the world what you find on the Make Your Money Mean More Facebook page!

As a business, you can join the campaign! We’re developing ways for local retailers and restaurants to proudly proclaim that you believe in our local economy and customers can make their money mean more for McLeanCounty by spending with you! Contact us for more information.

Does my business have to be a member of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce to participate in the Make Your Money Mean More campaign?

No. Make Your Money Mean More is a community campaign, not a Chamber campaign.