“Shop Local” Builds Stronger Communities

Chevrolet GMC logo with State of Michigan

Michigan has had a hard time of it during the economic slump, but things have been turning around. Families are taking advantage of lower house prices to settle down in Macomb County and surrounding areas. As they do, new businesses slowly edge in to serve them. Kid Rock funded a music exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum, and enthusiastic praise from celebrities like Ben Affleck and Eminem is generating Michigan buzz. “Rehab Addict”, an HGTV show featuring Michigan native Nicole Curtis focuses on restoring rundown houses in the Detroit Metro, which in turn drives interest in moving to the area.

The revitalization can’t hold steady without jobs for those new families, though. Homeowners and their property taxes are what pay for road maintenance, police salaries, firefighters, sidewalks, community parks, and other important public works. Without that income, cities are limited in how much they can improve. In the past residents have been forced to sell their homes at a loss and move just to find employment.

Fortunately for Michigan residents, there are a whole bunch of new jobs on the horizon. GM has recently announced plans for a second shift at their Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant. The shift will add more than 1200 jobs, nearly doubling the number of workers employed by the plant. About 40 of the jobs will be salaried positions- mostly supervisors- with the rest being hourly workers. The Hamtramck plant manufactures the Chevy Volt, Impala, and Malibu as well as the Cadillac ELR. With the new shift, the plant will be able to add the Cadillac CT6 to its production fleet as well as an as-yet unannounced GM vehicle.
Hiring and interviews are already being conducted for the new shift though it isn’t expected to begin until early 2016. Openings will be posted on the Metro Detroit section of the GM careers website.

The surge of economic activity fueling the demand behind this new shift can be traced in part to the “shop local” movement. The campaign, which has been making news across America, is trying to keep money within communities instead of funneling it to large corporations. The “buy local” or “shop local” movement has grown to include over 150 business alliances from Austin to West Michigan to Portland. These groups banded together to encourage consumers to patronize local independently owned businesses. Typically the businesses pay dues to a central fund which then pays for advertising and community involvement.

An economic impact study sponsored by Local First Utah showed that 55.3% of revenue from locally-owned and operated businesses goes back into the local economy. That’s 11.7% more than revenue from nationally owned chains. If at least half of a community shopped local half of the time, neighborhoods would have plenty of revenue to keep the streets clean and orderly.

It might surprise some to see GM and Chevy so invested in the shop local movement. Because of strict federal regulations over direct vehicle sales, car dealerships are almost all independent franchises. That means places like Heidebreicht Chevrolet have a vested interest in growing local business because they are one.

Heidebreicht is proud to support the “shop local” movement. We’ve been locally owned and operated since 1971. Over the years, many of our customers have turned into friends or even employees. We stay involved in the community, whether we’re sponsoring youth sports teams, hosting our Annual Women’s Clinic, or helping fundraise for Samaritan House.

The next time you’re in the market for a car, support your local businesses in Macomb County. Visit our Chevy showroom to see what your neighbors built.

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