Snohomish County has joined Community Transit in an effort designed to encourage people to shop within their communities this holiday season and beyond.
Called “Buy Local for Transit,” the campaign will 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 business 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 eliminating all Sunday service.
“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.
“We are always looking for new ways to bring customers in the door,” said Koko Niemi, owner of FASTSIGNS of Lynnwood, a commercial sign and banner manufacturer. “The Buy Local for Transit program is a great idea at the right time. For us, this is a no-brainer.”