Two 'Buy Local' efforts, both asking for your involvement

In Skaneateles, a restaurant is 'rewarding' people who buy local with free food. One of two Buy Local initiatives underway in Onondaga County

In Syracuse on Tuesday evening, the 10% Shift Lift-off, a big party at Syracuse's Hotel Skyler. The goal, to get more Onondaga County residents to commit to spending 10% on local businesses and products.

Chris Fowler, from Syracuse First, says the shift will have a huge economic impact here, and will improve the quality of life.

In Skaneateles, another approach to Buy Local:

Kristin Hunt and her husband Jamie run The Garage Eatz, which promotes local foods and wines. But, they never shopped locally until this past Christmas, when they committed to buying all their gifts in the Village. They were awed at what they found.

Fast forward 3 months, and Kristin wanted to give back, so their restaurant's been offering a free appetizer or dessert to anyone who brings in a receipt for goods purchased in the Skaneateles area. The response has been great, not only from customers, but also from area merchants who have joined in the effort by donating gift cards. Bottom line, besides the free food, one participant will win a $1,000 Skaneateles shopping spree when the promotion ends, at the end of March.

Sarah Panzarella, who owns Imagine, says the promotion helps show people that online is not the only way to shop, and that it really helps merchants out during this slow sales time. She say Skaneateles may rely on tourists, but needs local support too, to keep its economy going.

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