Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP) has launched a strategic economic and safety initiative aimed at getting businesses back on track, while keeping people safe. Basically, this campaign is a reminder that we should all be supporting local businesses more than ever.
COVID has unleashed havoc on the world economy. Typically, Buffalo comfortably finds itself in a bubble, where we don’t see the major ups and downs. But the COVID economy is different. People are staying at home. Office workers are not commuting downtown, due to the ease and safety of working remotely. The restaurants that are open, are counting on patios, pick-up, and takeout options, which means that customers are not sticking around. And people are shopping more than ever online, depending on the ease and convenience of sites like Amazon, where everything is just a click away.
Buffalo is a city that is built upon small businesses. Now these businesses are taking a beating. Many will never reopen, while those that do will be faced with uncertainty. Because of the anticipated bleak outlook, BNP has teamed up with other businesses and organizations to roll out “It’s our job,” developed in partnership with local advertising agency Crowley Webb
“COVID-19 is still a very serious threat, and the onus is on all of us to determine how fast our Western New York community recovers. We know how integral local businesses are to the economy and the fabric of our community, so each of us must do our part to not only keep local businesses open but also keep our neighbors safe and employed,” said Dottie Gallagher, president and CEO, Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “We’re thrilled to stand alongside our generous partners and business community leaders to introduce the ‘It’s our job’ initiative as a reminder to make a conscious effort to support local businesses so that we can come back quicker and stronger than ever.”
“The goal of this initiative is to make the transition from being locked down to being open for business as seamless as possible,” said Art Wingerter, president of Univera Healthcare and Buffalo Niagara Partnership board chairman. “Challenges such as the ones local businesses are facing with COVID-19 require a community-wide response, and The Partnership is uniquely positioned to have a leadership role in that effort.”
In January, the private sector employed more than 473,500 people across the Buffalo Niagara region. As of June’s unemployment figures, that number has decreased by nearly 15 percent.
“An initiative focused on keeping dollars in Western New York can have a profound impact on employment rates across the region and, in turn, the strength and resiliency of the local economy,” said Gary Keith, vice president, regional economist, M&T Bank – a campaign supporter. “It’s important to understand the employment multiplier impact that job creation and retention can have. Because local businesses are more likely to utilize other local businesses, such as suppliers, service providers and farms, it’s a chain reaction ‒ one job at a WNY business can directly and indirectly affect employment across its partner or supplier network. For every dollar spent at a small business, $0.67 stays in the local community— $0.44 goes to the owner (direct impact) and $0.23 gets reinvested in other local businesses (indirect impact). An additional $0.50 in ‘induced’ impact is generated by spending done by the firm’s workers and those of its vendors.”
For every dollar spent at a small business, $0.67 stays in the local community— $0.44 goes to the owner (direct impact) and $0.23 gets reinvested in other local businesses (indirect impact).
“Crowley Webb has called Buffalo home for more than 34 years, and we’ve worked alongside many of Western New York’s businesses and organizations both as partners and friends. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how connected we all are, and the impact each of us can have in ensuring our neighbors stay safe and employed,” said Jeff Pappalardo, chief creative officer, Crowley Webb. “We’re proud to work alongside the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and contribute our time and talent to this important initiative.”
This new campaign is not only in place to help keep people informed about the importance of shopping locally and staying safe, it also offers up digital business kits that will help to spread awareness of our collective responsibilities in the face of mounting adversities. The kit includes easy access to eye-catching signs, posters, and social images that business owners can use to spell out the various messages.
“We strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our customers and communities every day, but the COVID-19 pandemic makes our mission more important than ever. Quite literally, it’s our job to help sustain the local economy and local employment, while protecting the health and safety of our colleagues and customers, families and neighbors,” said Richard Gold, president and chief operating officer, M&T Bank. “But we can’t do it alone, so let’s join together across the Buffalo-Niagara community to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, make our economy healthy and get our people back to work.”
“Western New Yorkers are hardworking and resilient, and they’ve fought through some tough times. We always persist, and we’ll get through this the same way we’ve done for decades – together,” added Gallagher.
When you’re out and about, shopping and eating in Buffalo, be sure to tell others that you’re supporting the local economy. If everyone does his or her part, the road ahead won’t be so bumpy. After all, #ItsOurJobWNY.
More information about “It’s our job” is available at thepartnership.org/ourjob. Businesses can also access the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Keep Buffalo Niagara Working guide to stay informed of official NYS guidelines.