SEVERAL island dignitaries and community stakeholders gathered at Bernardo’s Dragonfruit Farm in Chalan Pågo yesterday to celebrate
the launch of the University of Guam’s “Buy Local” movement.
In an effort to generate a local Guam products movement, the UOG’s Pacific Center for Economic Initiatives (PCEI) launched its new marketing campaign to “Think, Support, and Buy Local,” an economic development strategy aimed at promoting awareness of the benefits of supporting Guam-based businesses and the hiring of local workers.
“It’s a decision to spend your money in a way that grows and strengthens our economy by keeping it in the community,” said Dr. Anita Borja Enriquez, PCEI director, of the initiative. “You make the decision to ‘Buy Local’ when you buy products that are sold locally instead of ordering them 100 percent from off-island; by hiring Guam residents first before off-island hires; and by using Guam-based businesses instead of ‘outsourcing work’ off-island. When you do this, you keep cash recycling within our economy and grow our tax base to support public health, education, roads and water infrastructure, parks, and others, instead of inadvertently losing (leaking) dollars off-island.”
The campaign was funded through initial support from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs. Present at the launch ceremony was DOI’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta; and Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, who, along with the rest of the dignitaries, echoed the importance of supporting the “Buy Local” movement.
Bordallo delivered a few remarks, commending the movement and recalling a similar “Green Revolution,” which her husband, former Governor Ricardo J. Bordallo, initiated. According to Bordallo, the “Green Revolution” urged all markets to purchase from local farmers.
Bordallo also encouraged everyone to promote the local culture by buying local.
UOG hopes this particular effort will create a shift of at least 10 percent of combined consumer and organizational spending on Guam to locally-supplied goods and services.
According to PCEI Marketing Coordinator Odyssa San Nicolas, the “Buy Local” movement has been going on for quite some time, but it wasn’t until UOG received support and funding from DOI that they were able to finally launch their marketing campaign.
“Overall I think the event went really well,” San Nicolas said. “We got a really good response from the Legislature, Tony Babauta, Congresswoman Bordallo, the Farmer’s Co-op, Fisherman’s Co-op, Guam Economic Development Authority, numerous small, private businesses, and just overall support from the community.”
Following the launch, San Nicolas said UOG will be working on numerous events and activities – including the launch of a media marketing campaign – to engage and educate the community on buying and hiring locally.
San Nicolas hopes the community will encourage the “Buy Local” movement and keep it going.