Sussex ‘buy local’ signs not bought locally

The Sussex Downtown Business Association poster campaign that asks residents to shop local hasn’t practiced what it preached.

After the closure of the Potash Corp mine, business associated administrator Pam Kaye said the town of Sussex was low-spirited and needed to hear a positive message.

“We wanted something in a hurry to put up to get people thinking about shopping local instead of doom and gloom” she said.
She placed an order with Vistaprint for the signs, saying she thought it would be the quickest option at the time.

“There were rumors about stores closing and that there would be nothing left in Sussex”, she said. “We wanted to do something really fast.”
It took two business days for Vistaprint to complete the order according to Kaye. Vistaprint is an online Dutch company that services more than 130 countries.

The posters feature a green, brown and white image of a hand with others branching off of it like a tree. It says “Grow your community, buy local.” Kaye found the picture online. Text below it says “Support your local community and it will support you.”

“I was pleased with how it turned out but others weren’t so much,” she said. “It was something done in a hurry on a Friday afternoon.”

Kaye ordered 100 posters in February and distributed them to all the downtown businesses. Most can be seen in store windows.

Grant Obermeier, the owner of Rainbow Printing in Sussex, said he has noticed the posters but doesn’t take it personally.

“They jumped the gun and bought elsewhere, but when it comes down to it, it is just a poster,” he said. “We have the capability right here in our back yard if they want it.”

Rainbow Printing opened in Sussex in 1995. It offers security and commercial offset printing including business cards, flyers, invoices and, of course, posters. It employs more than nine residents.

“Buying local is important to keep jobs here,” he said. “If you shop local your company becomes stronger and you can support everyone else.”
Obermeier said it builds momentum in the local economy.

“If I am buying tires I go to Sussex Tire and they buy their invoices from us,” he said. “It helps the community grow stronger and roots grow deeper so when we are competing outside we can be more aggressive.”

Once a proof of the poster is approved it can be printed within days according to Obermeier.

“They figured for the timely fashion they wanted it would be better to order it elsewhere, but sometimes… we should look at when we have it here first,” he said.

Kaye said she is sure she would never use Vistaprint for such a campaign again.

“In the end it’s probably something that should have been approved by the board and we should have taken more time to do it but at that time wew were all caught up in trying to make some good news for Sussex,” she said. “I definetly would do it differently next time.”