Keeping a little more of your cash at home

A remarkable success story, born in the US, is moving north of the border to take root in the City of Cranbrook thanks to the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce.

The Retail Committee of the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce is looking to implement the 10 Percent Initiative in Cranbrook over the next two years. To kick off the education and awareness campaign, the Chamber, in partnership with the Columbia Basin Trust, the College of the Rockies and a number of local businesses are hosting Kathy Callies from Howard, South Dakota, who was involved in the initiative since its inception, to speak in Cranbrook on October 16 and 17.

“This was a story I came across in a book I was reading,” says Connor Stewart, Chair of the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee. “It caught my attention right away as it completely related to a number of things we were beginning to investigate. I am very excited to have Kathy come to speak to our community and tell the story in more depth.

Born in the community of Howard, South Dakota in 1995, a group of high school students were trying to find ways to stop the out migration of people, jobs and money and revive their dying community. After much work and research, students presented their recommendations to the public and leaders in the County and also provided one simple, surprising fact: if the residents of Howard spent just 10 per cent more of their disposable income at home, they would boost the local economy by $7 million. Locals responded and one year later South Dakota’s Department of Revenue released a shocking number – the amount of money spent in Minor County had increased by $15.6 million, more than double the increase the students had expected.

This initiative also ties into all four pillars that support our entire community as identified by the Cranbrook Connected document. Kathy Callies will be making a presentation targeting youth at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre on Tuesday October 15, 2012 at 7 p.m. Her second presentation will be at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on October 17, 2012 at noon at the Prestige Inn, as part of Small Business Week.

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