Hudson – The Hudson Business Association (HBA) has tapped into a 21st-century phenomenon to bring 20th-century purchasing practices back to town.
The HBA is imploring local shoppers, friends, family and neighbors to “Buy Local” and frequent establishments in town rather than visit national chains and big box stores plopped along local highways.
The campaign includes a lot of traditional methods to get the word out, such as oversized posters in store windows and signs on lawns throughout town, but it includes, and arguably is getting its biggest boost, from a non-traditional form of advertisement: Facebook.
Facebook, a social networking website that has millions of members, is not viewed as an advertisement vehicle, whether it be for a cause or product, but that is the way the HBA is using it.
Kristin Gray-Lembo, HBA member and owner of Beyond Real Estate, started a Facebook group called “Support Hudson, Buy Local” about a month ago and so far more than 160 people have joined the group.
“It took minutes to set up the Facebook group – literally minutes,” Gray-Lembo said. “Once it was up and running I sent a message to all my Facebook friends asking them to check it out, support it and spread the word to their friends and families and in three days we had more than 120 group members.
“This is a close-knit community,” Gray-Lembo said. “People want to know what’s going on. They want to know if there is something in town they should be supporting. This is their town, they want to take care of it. What’s great about using Facebook as a tool in this campaign is it’s fast and it’s free.”
Lori Burton, owner of the downtown Hudson store Serendipity, used the “Support Hudson, Buy Local” Facebook group page to attract additional attendees to a fund-raising event she held recently at her store.
“About 20 more people attended my event than would have if not for that Facebook Page,” Burton said, “and the majority of those 20 people had not been to my store before. The added exposure gave me added traffic, which will hopefully result in added business.”
The new-wave networking tool aside, Arthur Redding, owner of Hudson Appliance and president of the HBA, believes buying local is in important fabric of every community, including Hudson.
“Who wants to drive to that big box store when you could be patronizing a local merchant who has been serving you and your family for years?” Redding asked. “People like shopping in town. It’s more convenient; you know you’re helping out local folks just like yourself and the town as a whole.”