The Power of One Product

Thanks to for this lovely shot!

I live in a county of 10,000 people.  Our Chamber has renamed themselves to the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce – so we can reach out to all the parents and students in our community.  That bumps up our count to almost 15,000 people.

Our county seat, Hampton, grew by 4% in the last census.  That’s unusual.  Rural communities are losing inhabitants, from young people moving out to old people dying.  We’re working on creating a census growth in 2020 – because you have to plan for it.  If you just ignore growth of a community, it doesn’t happen.

Last night the Chamber rolled out a new promotion.  Well, they sneak peeked it.  The roll out happens in January.  It involves shopping local and toilet paper.

That’s right, toilet paper.  105 rolls of toilet paper.  That’s the number that a person uses every year (105 is an average number, women use more than men).

What if everyone in the county were to buy their toilet paper at a store in the county?  The numbers are amazing.  The tax generated from sales we are losing to other counties is $114,000 (give or take a few) — and that’s tax only.  Then you figure in the fact that every dollar spent locally gets re-spent 7 times – and you come up with almost $800,000 in tax generated.  That would be taxes we are currently losing to the big box stores in another county.

$800,000.  What could we do with that tax revenue?

That’s just one product.   Pretty powerful.

2 Responses to The Power of One Product

  1. Marybeth Gardam says:

    Lots of rural communities are starting publicly owned stores (department stores, general stores, etc) which stock the products that are not available in local stores and for which people are traveling to distant locations. Start with a survey of what products folks travel for, and use that as a roadmap of what to stock. Use group purchase to gain valuable discounts, then pass them along to your neighbors. Collect a nominal amount from every resident to be a “member” of the store or ‘co-op’ to fund startup expenses and overhead. And make it fun… have local musicians perform, offer local bake sales and wine&cheese tastings. Keeping it local is what it’s all about. Churchill, during WWII asked people to start victory gardens as a way of making sure they could be independent for food in case of attack. Why not be independent communities today, with local food and local merchandise!!! Buy LOCAL!

  2. Deb Brown says:

    Marybeth –
    brilliant! Thank you for the ideas – I’ll pass them on to the chamber and members. Sounds exactly like something we’d like to do.

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