For the second consecutive year, the Waterbury Regional Chamber has launched its economic development “Spend Local” program. The president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, Lynn Ward, stated, “This program was initiated in 2010 and it provides area residents with opportunities to help preserve jobs by supporting local businesses and putting money back in their own pockets. In 2010, over $75,000 was registered at our Chamber’s website from purchases made at local small businesses throughout our 13-town region.”

   Ward stated that, “Although the Chamber encourages consumers to shop at Waterbury Regional Chamber member businesses, consumer can make purchases at any local business in our 13 town region, and send in their receipts. Simply by submitting receipts from any purchases made between November 18, 2011 and December 23, 2011, those consumers become eligible to win cash prizes. By visiting the website, area consumers can find detailed information about the cash back program.”

   Receipts are accepted from people who have shopped at businesses within the 13 towns encompassing the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s geographic area which includes Southbury, Oxford, Middlebury, Woodbury, Bethlehem, Watertown/Oakville, Thomaston, Waterbury, Wolcott, Cheshire, Prospect, Naugatuck, and Beacon Falls.

   “Each week,” continued Ward, “we will select multiple winners from the receipts submitted. Consumers who shop at any local area businesses are eligible for a bonus to win double the cost of their purchases up to $250.” Winners will be posted on and in the “Republican American” newspaper.”

   “In addition to becoming eligible for prizes and special offers by spending locally,” explained Ward, “area residents will help to sustain and build our region’s economy by supporting businesses that in turn pay taxes and contribute to our area schools, parks, and necessary community and municipal services. For every $100 spent in locally-owned independent retailers, $68 comes back to the local economy through taxes, payroll, and other business expenses.”

   Brass Mill Center manager Tony Guerriero recently commented, “Shopping locally provides numerous benefits to any community. When people shop at any of our retailers, they are helping provide job opportunities. Also, when they enjoy one of our dining opportunities, it allows those businesses to purchase goods, which positively impacts the local economy.”

   Elizabeth Richard Gifts owner Lori Greene added that her company has always strove to satisfy its greater Waterbury customer base. “The strong support we receive from the community is the key reason we’ve been successful. When people support a locally owned business, they are innately helping their neighbors and friends keep their jobs. Our staff does our best to buy from local businesses as well.”

   Area consumers can learn more about the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s 2011 holiday season “Spend Local” campaign through December 23, 2011, and obtain entry forms, by visiting  They can also text their purchase details to “spendlocal” at 72727; phone them in to 877-600-4406; and ‘like us’ on Facebook and follow the campaign on Twitter@SPENDLOCAL_WTBY.