“Buy Local” push gains momentum in New Mexico during shutdown

Albuquerque, New Mexico (AP)-Jenny Gonzalez, owner of the Los Ranchos Culture Club Salon, said local companies could lift each other this year, even during the state’s mandatory closure of non-essential companies. He said he saw directly how he could do it.

“I’m confident that this closure provided an opportunity for SMEs to connect with each other,” she told the Albuquerque Journal. “As long as you share and repost other small businesses or collaborate on projects, there are many trends online.”

Gonzales, whose salon business is on hold, jumped into her own collaborative project by curating a holiday gift basket containing local merchandise.

She chose products such as Slow Burn Coffee coffee beans and Bagel’s Florals flowers. I’ve seen these companies also do some community-oriented and active work, such as hosting pop-up markets and creating lists of mutual aid projects.

“We just wanted to give the people of Albuquerque and the locals the opportunity to provide us with that support,” she said.

The state’s two-week “reset,” announced on November 13, closes unnecessary businesses to face-to-face shopping, among other restrictions. Until November 30th.

This year, with the ongoing pandemic and the approaching holiday season, there is an urgent need for local purchases.

In New Mexico, government initiatives, community-based outreach, and local shops all turn into small independent retailers to enhance messaging and marketing to support and even save these businesses. Promoting business.

“What we see is like so many companies making creative and truly creative changes to their business models this year,” said Cynthia Jaramiro, director of the Department of Economic Development in Albuquerque. Says.

However, the timing of state-wide shutdown orders adds some hurdles to companies and markets that previously relied on direct shopping.

Janice Smith, who owns the Laughing Spirits Gallery in the Old Town, says he will usually prepare a booth for the annual Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival. She is currently preparing a virtual version of the event.

According to Smith, the pandemic has made the country adapt to online sales rather than going to various art shows.

“There are small businesses everywhere,” she said. “We had to adapt, so as you know, we need people to adapt to us.”

E-commerce is one of the few ways small retailers can operate under the current state-mandated closure of New Mexico, but not all local businesses exist online.

Jaramillo said many SMEs are also looking to the city for help and guidance to address a variety of challenges.

“There are more calls from small businesses looking for resources, such as access to grants and access to capital, but companies have contacted us and probably made them an e-commerce platform,” she said. It was.

This need for support has spawned a small number of online resources created by state and city economic development departments and tourism-based organizations such as Visit Albuquerque. These resources range from operational advice during shutdown to business and consumer listings looking for local shops to support.

Even social media trends encourage followers to create posts promoting their favorite local business with city-centric accounts like ABQtodo.

“It feels like we’ve actually received a lot of encouragement from our client and online follower community on our second shutdown,” says Gonzales.

At the state level, New Mexico’s Tax and Revenue Department spokesman Charlie Moore said Saturday was a tax-exempt holiday for New Mexico SMEs with less than 10 employees.

According to Moore, the holiday was created as a way to encourage New Mexicans to shop locally, but the program hasn’t yet caught the attention of small business owners, some of whom have noticed. It may not be.

Meanwhile, New Mexico small business owners have done what they can to encourage local trends in the store.

When Kelli Hulslander, the owner of Your Other Closet’s consignment store, reads about a company offering local shopping discounts in the newsletter of consignment companies nationwide, she wants to bring the idea back to Alba Khaki immediately. I thought.

Halslander said he would like to reach out to fellow small business owners by rewarding customers who shop locally. She has set up her own version of the program and is currently offering customers a $ 5 discount to bring receipts from local businesses.

“We just said,’Hey, I want to support the people who run small businesses right now,'” she said.

Halslander said programs like her could create a “spillover” for companies that encourage customers to shop locally, which supports the entire small business community.

“If I do business with someone, I want to make sure they are there in the future,” she said.

Halslander is doing his best to direct customers to other local companies as much as possible, even if it means directing customers to another consignment store if they don’t have the right products. Said.

According to Halslander, this creates a network of small businesses that introduce other small businesses and customers to local stores, creating an almost small town environment.

“It feels like (a) a small main street. It’s nice because we support each other,” she said. “It’s fun. I think it’s very supportive and warm.”

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“Buy Local” push gains momentum in New Mexico during shutdown

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