Edmond is not Mayberry anymore, Tad Kennedy said to 55 members of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. The owner of Kennedy Tire & Auto Service credited locally owned business as the backbone of the community.
The Edmond Chamber hosted an Edmond Locally Owned kick-off reception for businesses. Citizens Bank of Edmond presented the event.
“When we came up with Edmond Locally Owned, I was kind of laughing to myself,” Kennedy said. “It’s the David and Goliath story. We’re all David, but we can have confidence that David won. David can beat Goliath.”
Kelly Van Osdol, owner of the Framin’ Gallery, said his business has been serving Edmond for 30 years. Small business that are locally owned within the city limits will benefit by joining the program, he said. Members will target locally owned businesses to spend their money, he said.
“I think anytime you get a collective group to start learning more about the other businesses and actually make a financial impact with that business, it can make a big difference,” he said.
College Nannies & Tutors franchise owner Karin Dallas said the power of affiliation with Edmond Locally Owned will serve her professional marketing needs.
“I’m very excited about that aspect of the program,” Dallas said.
Edmond Life & Leisure owner Ray Hibbard said not all Chamber of Commerce’s across the United States embrace a focus on locally owned businesses.
“I think a lot of these chambers have been short-sighted in their narrow focus,” Hibbard said. “We’ve been blessed here because Ken and the staff have not felt that way. In fact they wanted to embrace it.”
People are looking to make local choices in their purchasing decisions, Hibbard said.
“Big chain stores have plenty of market out there, but people are just going to mindlessly go in and buy,” Hibbard said. “That’s fine. But for people who want to make choices, we hope to give them that choice and let them know through some recognition of who their locally owned businesses are.”
They will know when to go to downtown Edmond or to a store front, Hibbard said.
The visibility and credibility program asks for applications from business that have been open for a minimum of 18 months. They must be a chamber member in good standing. There is a $100 application fee. The chamber is offering the certification program as a platform to differentiate locally owned businesses in the community. Edmond Locally Owned seeks to increase support for local businesses and sustain the character and quality of life in Edmond, according to the chamber.
TO LEARN MORE about the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce’s Locally Owned program, go to www.edmondchamber.com.