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"Shop Local Napa" Campaign Announced

As some Napans seek an ordinance favoring local businesses, Karen Lucia of Grapeleaf Graphics is taking the cause directly to consumers with her new "Shop Local Napa" campaign, complete with website and planned discount card.

In Napa, 2012 has been a year of debate over the health of the local economic scene as , older ones and over plans by Starbucks to open a downtown café.

But while some Napans have responded by imposing restrictions on national "formula businesses" like Starbucks downtown, others have been focusing their efforts on encouraging fellow residents to shop at home.

First came last winter's campaign, arts advocate Ann Trinca's grassroots effort urging county residents to do their holiday shopping at local stores.

Now another Napa woman is announcing her plan to encourage local shoppers to spend their money here, instead of out of county or online.

Karen Lucia, an entrepreneur who with her husband Jeff runs on Jefferson Street, has launched her "Shop Local Napa" website, shoplocalnapa.org, with plans to create a discount card giving Napa residents a comprehensive discount at participating local businesses.

"The website's up," Lucia said last week. "All we need is merchants to start participating."

Lucia said she got the idea for the card from , which offers member discounts.

"Why not do that, but do it basically on steroids?" said Lucia, describing her plan in which local merchants would commit to an across-the-board discount for card-carrying county residents.

"They have to offer at least a 5 percent discount" to Napa County residents, with nothing held back, she said. Participating merchants will pay an annual $250 membership fee to be featured on the site, Lucia added.

The idea for the campaign itself, Lucia continued, came when a customer realized a shirt from Grapeleaf Graphics cost less for better quality than a similar one purchased from a well-known online retailer.

Lucia writes on her new website, 

As a Native Napan, Local Napa business owner and shopper, I was constantly getting asked if I can make something at my own shop that my customer was going to buy online but it was too expensive and was going to take too long to make, so... that got me thinking that there is not enough resources easily found on line for local Napa residents to direct them to local Napa merchants who can supply exactly what they are looking for right here! 

While Lucia is based in the city of Napa, she's setting her sights on the whole county.

"I'm getting interest from Upvalley," she said.

She has hired a sales manager, Lucia continued, and plans to have the program up and running in time for holiday shopping.

To learn more about the program, visit shoplocalnapa.org or call Lucia at (707) 208-1478.

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Catherine George August 27, 2012 at 07:51 PM
This is great! A step in the right direction! Like Alex says though, we need to go further. But it is wonderful to see so many great efforts moving in this direction.
Matthew Young August 27, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Restricting the type of businesses that people can shop at is Un-American. Let people vote with their wallets. Local businesses that are up to snuff will succeed and those that aren't will go away. I'm really tired of the vocal minority trying to dictate where I spend my money.
Catherine George August 27, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Calling a local grassroots effort Un-American is Un-American. I'm really tired of the reactionary minority being so ignorant of our country's history. I suggest that you read "A People's History of the United States".
Matthew Young August 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM
I suggest you let people decide how they spend their money in their town instead of trying to strong arm the city council into restricting certain businesses. There's a real simple solution, if you don't want to patronize chain stores, don't! Let the folks vote with their wallets. The deserving local businesses will stay and those aren't up to snuff will go. Survival of the fittest.
Karen Lucia August 28, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Thanks for all the feedback, both the negative and the positive- we'll see what transpires. I had numerous hits on the website today and a bunch of calls and emails from interested merchants that want to sign up so I view it as a positive effort to get the consumer to the local merchant and vice versa.
Alex Shantz August 28, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Survival of the fittest, huh? That's exactly what we need! Social Darwinism! Under those principles there is absolutely nothing wrong with monopolies which by the way limits consumer choice. It's just survival of the fittest, right? What a nightmare. If you support consumer choice, then you will oppose allowing Downtown Napa to be invaded by corporate chains. And, you will support initiatives that encourage and strengthen local businesses so people have local businesses to choose from.
Matthew Young August 28, 2012 at 08:28 AM
I support any business being able to set up shop in Napa. If you don't like a certain business, don't shop there but don't tell me or anybody else that we have to shop "local" only. It's a personal choice and I think we all should vote with our wallets. Restricting any business in this economy is silly and counterproductive.
F Otterbeck August 28, 2012 at 01:49 PM
No one is strong arming the city council. We are responding to an article in on the Napa Patch website. Sheesh. We are stating our support for a shop local movement and that is a perfectly good reason to go into a business and see if it competes.
Neven August 28, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Apple is the Number 1 corporation on the planet by every measure, and now having killed off Samsumg and in the process of crushing Google's Android platform ... it is certainly a monopoly. Is Apple a nightmare?
Alex Shantz August 28, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Apple exploits workers in China. How could anyone with a good conscience open their arms and embrace a corporation with such terrible practices?
Alex Shantz August 28, 2012 at 03:17 PM
"I support any business being able to set up shop in Napa. If you don't like a certain business, don't shop there but don't tell me or anybody else that we have to shop "local" only. It's a personal choice and I think we all should vote with our wallets. Restricting any business in this economy is silly and counterproductive." By NOT restricting corporate chains you actually end up restricting local business thereby reducing personal consumer choice which is something you claim to support.
Neven August 28, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Alex, then we can expect that no one on Napa Local owns or uses - personal or business - any of the following, correct? iPhone iPad iPod iMac MacBook Downloaded content from iTunes
Alex Shantz August 28, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Does this change the fact that Apple exploits factory workers in China? No. I personally don't own any Apple products, can't speak for the rest of the group. But, that frankly isn't the point. The point is Apple has a terrible record concerning workers rights. The conversation should be aimed at reducing our dependency on the company. That would be a constructive dialogue.
Neven August 28, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Are you sure we're not going to see you on the street with a phone wrapped in a brown paper bag? And I'm pleased to know that you expressed your American right to choose. Now, let the rest of us have the same right. Just sayin'.
Ash Leigh August 28, 2012 at 04:11 PM
This article is not about imposing restrictions on chains, but encouraging residents to shop local. Second paragraph.
Ash Leigh August 28, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Copyright. I'd fight for what I spent time and money on too - and saw others taking the easy way out and just copying it. I own Samsung/Android and Apple products. It was a personal preference on each item, per needs. New phones and tech products come out yearly. What we bought today, will be upgraded or out of date in 6 months anyways. By the time (years) all these appeals are done and settled, the products they are fighting about will be obsolete.
King Jarvis IV August 28, 2012 at 04:20 PM
This Napa Local or exclusion of large corporations from doing business in Napa seems very provincial. If all of the tourists who come to Napa adopted the same idea, then we would likely be a bankrupt town. By the way, the Silverado Winery is owned by a member of the Disney-Miller family. Do folks trying to save money in this crazy economy be morally obligated to forego shopping at say, Costco, to better provide for their families? Where do you draw the line at big corporation versus small business ? I believe that the U.S. Department of Commerce deems a small business as any that grosses less than half a million dollars. Now What ?
Neven August 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Esiuol - no need to get defensive. Don't you find it a tad hypocritical that you have the freedom to choose ("personal preference") - in your case - from among the products of 3 huge corporations (Apple, Samsung & Google), but you'd restrict that same freedom in others as defined by Napa Local's narrow agenda?
Catherine George August 28, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I genuinely do not understand the vehemence and vitriol around this issue. Whether an ordinance, a tax, a discount card, or any other vehicle, the debate unfortunately gets more intense than the subject really warrants, in my humble opinion. In other words, the idea of supporting local businesses somehow gets misconstrued into the idea of penalizing non-local businesses, and other hoo-ha, which is NOT actually what is being proposed. I would have expected people to defend their local businesses with this kind of passion, rather than defend the large chains, if that's what they are doing. It's odd. The larger businesses don't really need defending; they don't need armies of people spewing hatred at perceived enemies. The larger businesses are doing fine - in fact they have figured out the formula, they've mastered the game. It's the smaller businesses that need our help and our support. And that's what we who support small businesses are talking about. But we can't even have a real debate because it gets hijacked into this whole other thing. And then we're all just on the crazy train and we're not even talking about the original question. How do we support and promote small businesses?
Neven August 28, 2012 at 04:59 PM
"Vitriol". "Hatred". Really? Just proves that Napa Local doesn't welcome open dialogue.
Catherine George August 28, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Neven - I'm referring generally to the debate around this issue; comments on other articles, not just this one. And yes, the tone has been extremely negative toward the idea of supporting local businesses, and has been misconstrued into other ideas, which was my point. Vitriol: calling the idea of supporting local businesses "un american", for example. And so on. Again - let's talk about how to support local businesses please. I don't want this to now turn into a debate about "vitriol", thanks.
Ash Leigh August 28, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Neven, I'm not for restricting anyone. I'm not sure how you got that out of my comments. I am for supporting local businesses. I enjoy Starbucks and Annettes chocolates. Yes, there are some chains I do not personally like - but I wouldn't hold that against them. I would still spend my money in their development with my friends and family that do like them. I'm not defensive - I was just replying with a comment. No feelings came across my keyboard.
Alex Shantz August 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM
The big split is some people believe all we need to do is “vote with our wallets”. The problem is this does nothing to create a truly local economic system. It’s not enough to vote for your wallets. That alone won’t cultivate a local economy. No one, not even the proponents of corporate chains, disputes the benefits of a local economy and the multiplier effect it produces. But, they oppose policies that would actually strengthen and enhance it? That makes no sense. We need policies and local systems in place to maximize the multiplier effect. We need to be proactive and constructive. Letting the so-called free market decide is an excuse to do nothing. And frankly, it doesn’t work.
Catherine George August 28, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Lorie, it's this sort of comment which takes the debate off the rails. Sorry, I'm just as guilty sometimes, because I resort to being silly or whatever. So, I'm sorry for that. However, my point is that you are making an assumption: "I see you much rather see your wishes and dreams fulfilled with other people's money etc" and then you are basing what you say upon that assumption. Alex has not ever expressed that "he would much rather see his wishes and dreams fulfilled with other people's money". Alex is making a point about the fact that "voting with our wallets" does not go far enough to create the sort of downtown that can include a strong local economy anchored by small businesses. You are also making an assumption that it's a bad thing that landlords charge a reasonable rent rather than a gouging level of rent (such as 4x for Baker Street), and that it would be a bad thing to make a choice between potential tenants, potentially choosing a small business over a large chain. Alex has pointed to studies which support the multiplier effect. He has never advocated that he or anyone else use other people's money for anything.
Alex Shantz August 28, 2012 at 09:42 PM
You know, On the one hand I am told that I need facts and research on my side. But, when I reference these facts and research it is ignored and instead I am ridiculed. I am really tired of it. I am all for heated discourse. But, when it devolves into such a cesspool of ad hominem it becomes pointless.
Caroline Potter August 29, 2012 at 09:20 PM
One of my favorite downtown areas is in San Luis Obispo. They have found a way to merge "Mom and Pop" and chain stores to create a bustling area that has something for everyone. I wish we would take a lesson.
Erik N Bowman September 07, 2012 at 04:34 PM
There's a great book that came out recently called, "Shop Local: A Practical Pain-Free Guide to Shopping With Purpose". It's available through most local bookstores and of course online. http://shoplocal.us/shop-local-book-reviews.php
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" September 07, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Question to Napa local. Where do "Mom and Pop" shops get there stock Do they use local Distributers? The question just hit me . If you want me to shop local. Should the merchan fill there store goods from a local wholesaler?
Catherine George September 07, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Michael - these are great questions, and Napa Local does not have all the answers, but has been discussing these very ideas. We met recently with an organization in Sonoma County called "GoLocal", and they have come up with some interesting ways to define this sort of thing. They ask that businesses become a member of their organization, and in return they get exposure, marketing, support and so on. Those businesses must meet certain criteria, such as; they must be privately held, 50% live in the county, headquartered in the county, make independent decisions about their business, pay its own rent and expenses. "GoLocal" also supports residents by offering a rewards card, and has many facets of their organization such as "bank local", "made local", and many more. We're looking at the possibility of getting a "GoLocal" up and running here in Napa. Again, we don't have all the answers. We're interested in what the community has to say. We don't want to dictate anything. It's the community that decides. But so far we like what we see at Sonoma's "GoLocal". You might want to find out more: http://sonomacounty.golocal.coop/
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" September 07, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Thanks for the Responce. You are righr We do not have all the answers. I will tell you our Downtown is doing far better then most in the Rust belt.

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