Derek Long, executive director of Think Local First Bellingham, was in town to speak with Victoria’s TLF association.
Over a 14 year period, what was once a smokey little mill town has been transformed into a bright, vibrant downtown core with a great community awareness of shopping local.
“Lots of local businesses got together to create a campaign to express all the benefits of supporting local businesses, right, marketing together, ” according to Long.
He was equally impessed by one of Victoria’s Think Local initiatives, “I’m really excited about the Think Local First rewards program, that the business community has started, people can get a card & a smart phone app. We haven’t started that yet in Bellingham so this will be an opportunity for us to learn from Victoria.”
Gayle Robinson, president of the Victoria group, which started with only 10 members 3 years ago, is passionate about local business promotion.
“We now have 190 members and its about…none of us will survive in isolation, we need to stand together. We are a really important sector of the Victoria community.”