It is very rare that I agree with a Las Vegas promotional organization.
For the most part, Vegas PR is powered by delusional people who get paid outrageous sums of money to promote rah-rah bullshit, but every now and then ... someone screws up and has a lucid thought.
Take for example, the latest promotional campaign by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce:
The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce today launched a “Viva Las Business: Vegas is Coming Back” advertising campaign to encourage people and businesses to buy from local employers. The chamber also introduced a "Small Business Comeback Kit" that contains free and low-cost tools it says can help small businesses survive and grow.
“Las Vegas will come back. But it will take the entire community working together to rebuild our economy. The chamber encourages residents and businesses to buy from businesses that employ people locally. By everyone joining in this effort, we support jobs, we support families, we support our local services and infrastructure, and we begin to move our economy forward,” Matt Crosson, chamber president & CEO, said in a statement.
Frankly, this is something that I have ALWAYS supported.
One of the things I like most about the Pacific Northwest, and Olympia in particular, is its rabid focus on sustainability and its pathological promotion of local businesses. The Farmer's Market in Olympia is the second largest in the state, but it's informally regarded as the best in quality because re-sellers cannot rent space at the market. The only people who are allowed to sell to the public are local farmers, cooks, and producers themselves. Middlemen and "outsiders" are simply not allowed ... regardless of how much they offer to pay.
Every weekend for the past few weeks, I have always made it a point to drop by, get Crab Cakes Benedict for breakfast, and then take home $30-$40 worth of produce for the week.
When I grocery shop, it is almost always at the local Olympia Food Co-Op.
I'll be honest ... it's kind of expensive. Small operations simply cannot compete with the volume and prices of the mega-stores.
Still, even though I am far from a wealthy person, I would gladly pay more for small, local goods than pay less to support shareholders and indentured servitude.
I have always tried to do this. Be it in DC, New York, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas ... I always tried to patronize local establishments run by people who actually live in the community.
Given the sprawl and lack of a true "community" this was extraordinarily hard to do here in Vegas, but I certainly made an effort. Be it Albo's, Naked City Sandwich, Tacos Mexico, Luv-It, or White Cross Pharmacy I tried very, very hard to patronize local, non-chain businesses.
I've always felt that a strong locals-only bias is the cornerstone of economic sustainability. Without it, you open yourself up to all kinds of exploitation, such as Las Vegas' housing market which was ruined almost wholly by scuzzy, scummy, smarmy, greedy, rat-bastard losers from California. They came in with smiles and fist-fulls of cash, bought property, and then beat a hasty retreat back to their seaside shitholes at the first sign of trouble.
It was all fun and games for awhile, but look at Vegas now. When you make a deal with the Devil, you always pay.
Had I been Mayor at the time, I would have done everything possible to outlaw the selling of homes to those who resided outside of the state, or I would have taxed the ever-loving shit out of carpetbagger residences so that it would have been nearly impossible for California asshats to use the town like a giant game of Monopoly. Had I done this, cocktail waitresses and busboys across the Valley would have been able to buy their own affordable homes, and they would still have equity today. Almost all of Las Vegas' current economic problems are a direct result of its lack of territorialism.
Back when I was a "Vegas blogger" (at least that is what I was called by others), I was routinely criticized for being territorial. I was seen as unfriendly ... hostile even ... to "Vegas bloggers" from outside of Nevada. People didn't understand why this was, but guess what?
The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce agrees with me.
Hey all of you Pollyanna Sunshine fucksticks who rolled your eyes and shouted me down for all of those years, how you like me now?
Everyone comes around to my point of view eventually. It comes with the territory of always being right.
Read: Viva Las Business II