Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor introduced the "Buy Local for Transit" initiative before the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.
Small local businesses have asked residents to "buy local" for several years, and now Community Transit is working to promote the message of supporting local communities, and local services, by patronizing retailers in your community.
Called "Buy Local for Transit," the CT campaign is designed to further strengthen local businesses while increasing local tax revenues during these difficult economic times.
"This reminds residents that doing your holiday shopping right here in Snohomish County is an easy way to support local businesses and valuable services like Community Transit," said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. "We all have the power to re-energize the local economy, support transit and make a few holiday wishes come true at the same time."
Community Transit is funded primarily through a portion of retail sales taxes generated in its service district, which is most of Snohomish County. The majority of its funding comes from a voter-approved 0.9 percent sales tax - or nine cents on a $10 purchase - within its service district.
With consumer spending down, Community Transit's sales tax revenues have fallen about $20 million a year. The result has been major service cuts, including the elimination of service on Sundays and most holidays.
"We had to make some hard choices, but it was a necessary response to the economic situation we faced," said Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor. "On the other hand, Buy Local for Transit is an easy choice. You can help your community and save money."
To promote the program, businesses and residents can download an "I Buy Local for Transit" card at www.communitytransit.org/BuyLocal, showing a growing list of participating businesses offering special discounts. Transit riders can show their ORCA regional fare card to get discounts as well.