Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce

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Matt Kilian
Our Lakes Proud "buy local" program inspires people to support the communities they care about and the businesses they believe in.
The Lakes Proud "buy local" campaign is strengthening the regional economy by educating consumers and businesses on how everyday purchases impact the quality of life in our communities. This is a positive, grassroots campaign that focuses on retention, instead of just attraction, of the financial capital needed to sustain and grow the region. Since January 2014, our expanding group of more than 30 volunteers has researched successful "buy local" campaigns throughout the U.S. to ensure our efforts aren't a flash in the pan. Our goal is to retain more than $60 million annually in our two counties by inspiring simple shifts in spending habits—just $50 per month for individuals and $500 per month for businesses, away from online and out-of-town merchants. This includes business-to-business sourcing as well as consumer shopping. Our Darth Vader is Internet shopping. We have also sought and discovered the Holy Grail (yes, it does exist)--collaborating with neighboring chambers in an intentional and meaningful way. At our Lakes Proud table are the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, Nisswa Chamber, Cuyuna Lakes Chamber, Pequot Lakes Chamber, Crosslake Chamber, our local economic development corporation, 152 businesses and all area cities, colleges and school districts.


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