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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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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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