JP Local First, a network of local and independently owned businesses, is promoting “Buy Local” by offering a $1,000 shopping spree to people who snap and post a selfie at a JP Local First member business.
“JP Local First has 170 member businesses in Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Steering Committee member David Warner. “The selfie contest and our other events offer fun ways for folks in JP to help local businesses do good and do well.”
Nationally, businesses in communities that offer a sustained grassroots “buy independent/buy local” initiative like JP Local First have increased sales nearly twice as much as businesses in communities without these campaigns, according to the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA).
Participants can enter by snapping a selfie at a JP Local First member business and posting the photo to social media with the hashtag #jplocalfirst and the hashtag for that business. In addition to the grand prize, which will give the winner two hours to spend the $1000 at a minimum of 5 member businesses, a $100 prize will be awarded for the person who submits the most entries. The last day to enter the selfie contest is September 10. (For contest details, visit jplocalfirst.org/selfie1000.)
In addition to the selfie contest, the organization is holding a “Local First Fair” on Thursday, September 14, from 3:30 pm to dusk at the Loring Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain (rain date is September 21). Dozens of locally-owned JP businesses and nonprofits will be on hand to promote their services. There will be food and prizes.
“A lot of people have seen the JP Local First logo in the windows of the retail stores and eateries,” said Warner, who is the co-owner of City Feed Supply in Jamaica Plain. “But over half of our members are service businesses, such as chiropracters, printers, and people who do computer repair. The Fair is a great opportunity for residents and even other businesses to learn about the great services they can get close to home.”
He added, “The drawing for the selfie contest winner will be held at the Local First Fair, so we’re expecting a big crowd!”
JP Local First is also sponsoring a series of “Cash Mobs.” Cash mobs boost sales by inviting mobs of people to spend a few dollars at a local business at a specific time. Dozens of shoppers attended the first cash mob at On Centre at 676 Centre Street, on Thursday, July 27, and future cash mobs are planned.
The mission of JP Local First is to support, promote, and celebrate a “Local Economy Community” by educating the public and government about the significant environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of a strong local economy. JP Local First was formed on Valentine's Day, 2013.