'Buy Local' isn't just a phrase in Woodbridge. It's a program to help residents save money by shopping at a discount in local establishments, and at the same time, support those businesses and the jobs they create in the township.
Mayor John McCormac was on Main St., touting the township's interest in keeping the tax base healthy, and at the same time, congratulating Physical Features, a downtown beauty and day spa, during a ceremony marking their 40th anniversary in town.
"The residents and local businesses together will strengthen the local economy," McCormac said. The mayor launched the program recently at the Grateful Dog Pet Grooming salon on New Brunswick Ave. in Fords.
"There is a lot of benefit and reason to get involved," said McCormac to small business owners in the township who might be apprehensive about offering discounts. McCormac assured that this new initiative will work to "keep a vibrant downtown," although it is a township-wide program.
Residents will notice in their latest edition of Woodbridge News, a booklet sent out by the township, that there is a card they can clip. If they present the card to businesses participating in the 'Buy Local' program, they can get a discount or receive another benefit specified by the business.
The discounts vary, but they can be significant. Thriftway Cards in the ShopRite shopping center, for example, offers 10 percent off all purchases over $5; Woodbridge Deli and Catering offers 10 percent off as well, as does the Grateful Dog pet emporium in Fords. Dozens of businesses are participating in the discount program.
There is an entire list on the township's website of businesses participating in the program, and what customers can save when they bring their 'Buy Local' card when shopping. Woodbridge businesses who want to be listed in the directory can also join up online.
They'll receive a 'Buy Local' sticker to put in their store window, letting customers know that they offer discounts and are helping to keep the local economy humming.
The Main St. Downtown Merchants Association has their program that dovetails into the township effort. They are giving out a printed coupon booklet, free of charge. Customers can pick up a coupon book at any participating local store, explained Carol Hila, executive director of the Greater Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce.
"We're happy to see this initiative as long as it keeps people coming down or up to Woodbridge," she said.