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by Jordan Green

LOCAL BUSINESS WEBSITE TO LAUNCH IN GREENSBORO NEXT MONTH

Support Local North Carolina, a for-profit initiative to encourage local buying practices, is set to launch in Greensboro next month, with plans to gradually expand across the state.

Taylor Haulsee, a partner in the venture, said research has shown that if consumers diverted only 10 percent of their purchasing power to local businesses it could result in upwards of $230 million in economic impact for the typical American city. Support Local North Carolina plans to publicize discounts through an online newsletter, maintain a directory of local businesses and offer group-deal coupons. Support Local North Carolina will derive revenue by sell ing advertising.

“We incentivize local spending,” Haulsee said.

“The customer benefits by receiving discounts. We make a profit and the businesses are given new avenues to reach customers by.”

Nick Ledyard and Stamp Walden are also partners in the venture.

“We chose Greensboro for a variety of reasons,” Haulsee said. “We thought Greensboro is home to a pretty good population of people that would be concerned with buying local, we know the area, and we like it a lot here.”

Companies that are franchised may qualify as local, but they can only operate in North Carolina. For example, Haulsee said, a company such Cookout that is headquartered in Greensboro would not qualify because it operates franchises outside of North Carolina.

Haulsee said the company will use social media to market its business. Its main platform will be the webs domain at www.supportlocalnc.com. He said similar sites have launched in Arizona and Utah.

“They offer ways to buy local and local business directories. They might offer discounts too, but they don’t offer a group coupon. Our site is the only one of its kind in North Carolina and the only one that offers all of those things.”

Economic impact of figure skating championship pegged at $27.4 million

The local organizing committee for the 2011 AT&T US Figure Skating Championships, held at the Greensboro Coliseum in January, announced that the event generated $27.4 million in economic impact for the local area. Hill Carrow, chairman for the event, said that the measures quantifies spending in the Greensboro market by visitors from outside of Guilford County. The analysis conducted by George Washington University professor Lisa Neirotti also indicated that the championships generated tax revenues of more than $2.2 million.

“We had visitors from virtually ever state and five foreign countries, and hosted more than 161,500 attendees on site at the Greensboro Coliseum,” said Henri Fourrier, CEO of the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a prepared statement.

A separate analysis conducted by New Jersey-based Burrelles Luce found that the event created a media impact of $24 million. Carrow explained that the measure quantifies the value of news stories, television broadcasts, trade magazines and social media sites.

“If you were going to buy advertising all over the country to advertise Greensboro, it’s that rough equivalent,” he said.

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