by Bob Doran
Why are these people smiling?
This week the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors as well as the Eureka and Arcata City Councils adopted proclamations declaring July 1-7, 2008 to be "Independents Week" and calling for residents to support and celebrate the independent, local businesses of Humboldt County.
The proclamations were brought forward by the Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance (HumIBA), a new organization formed to strengthen the local economy of Humboldt County by offering support to local, independent businesses and education to the general public about the vital role that independent businesses play in creating a strong, stable, local economy.
Independents Week is an annual national campaign to highlight locally-owned independent businesses. The event is being celebrated in over 40 communities across the country.
Supervisors Bonnie Neely and John Woolley sponsored the "Independents Week" proclamation that was passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. "It is common knowledge that independent, small businesses are the backbone to local economies," said Woolley. "By doing business locally, you not only get great personal service and real value, you also help strengthen our community and local economy," added Supervisor Neely.
"Independents Week is an opportunity to highlight the local businesses that help make Humboldt County the unique, special place we all love," said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Co-Coordinator of the project. "We’re inviting residents to take our ‘Go Local’ Challenge by shopping exclusively local and independent for the week."
The group is also organizing a Scavenger Hunt that can be played by finding items at independent businesses around the county. Game cards can be downloaded from the group’s website where game rules can also be found.
"We’re a new organization, but we have a lot of great projects planned for the year ahead," said Sopoci-Belknap. "In November we’ll be printing a directory of Humboldt County independent businesses to make it easier for residents and visitors to know where they can go to keep their dollars local." The group is offering free directory listings to qualifying businesses.
"When we support local ‘independent’ businesses our community's economy is made even stronger, for they create a greater circulation of our dollars and are often recognized for their knowledge and support of community activities. Buying from local independent businesses is good business and good for our community," said Supervisor Woolley.
For more information about the Humboldt County Independent Business Alliance, the Local Options Directory, or the activities planned for Independents Week visit their website at www.HumIBA.org or call 476-8475.