Made in USA: Start LookingPamela Hulse Andrews CEO/Founder


med_Pamelas_Mug_copy55While this issue is dedicated to products made in Central Oregon, there’s a much bigger picture that we, as business people, should consider.

First let’s talk about buying local products. We are amazed at the myriad of products that are made right here in Central Oregon — products that make exceptional gifts for the holidays, in fact anytime of the year. Each year, when we develop our list of Made in Central Oregon buying guide, we’re pleased to see new items added. In addition, given the state of the economy it is noteworthy that numerous companies are growing and prospering in Central Oregon.

And don’t forget that in addition to the innumerable small manufacturers who are creating first class products, the high desert is home to a thriving arts and crafts community.

From soap, fishing rods, gloves, furniture, pillows, watercolors and pottery to chocolates, honey, beer and vodka many of these products make ideal holiday gifts. Is there a better way to spend your holiday dollars than on things created in Central Oregon?

Central Oregon can boast over 40 art galleries that carry original local artwork.

Regional artists stock local art galleries and numerous boutiques with original artwork, jewelry, pottery, clothing, ornaments, cards, hand-painted scarves and other items. Buying art and handcrafted gifts is one thing we highly recommend — it’s personal and long lasting and giving creations made by hand provides an attractive alternative to mass-produced products.

Don’t miss the most important point in buying locally — the impact it can have on our economy is enormous. When you shop at local establishments (rather than sitting at home and ordering from a catalog or on line) all of the money you spend stays right here in this community.

However, we challenge you to go even a step further and begin by reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA — the job you save may be your own or your neighbors.

As a local business, in fact, this is a concept you should strive to adhere to all year long. Buying office supplies, computers and furniture from local businesses means keeping your neighbors, your friends, your family members employed. It means strengthening our economic vitality, which benefits every single person around you. Another appealing aspect of buying from a local merchant is the ability to receive personal service and direct contact with a company that backs up its products.

It could not possibly be more important in today’s challenging economic times.

Buying locally is not the only thing that we can do to help boost our economy….hire local contractors and use local services from financial advisors and advertising agencies to accountants and internet designers. One has to question why many of our public entities continue to overlook qualified professionals when hiring architects, engineers, contractors and design teams. We continue to advocate for a local preference in hiring practices with our cities, counties and colleges.

But back to the task at hand for those who will be boosting our retail sales in the next few weeks: make your list, check it twice and be sure to focus on locally made products and local merchants. pha


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