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Blog Will Challenge Alexandrians To "Shop Local"

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By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, independent retailers in the Alexandria's Old Town Boutique District are about to kick off a new campaign to keep residents shopping close to home.

Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria isn't the first place to start a "shop local" campaign.

But Amy Rutherford, owner of Red Barn Mercantile Exchange on Columbus Street, says she hasn't seen another place recruit residents to BLOG about the experience of shopping local.

Rutherford says the goal is to get other Alexandrians to participate by helping the bloggers with recommendations and comments online.

"We are aiming to build a community of people who will challenge themselves to shop local a little bit more," she says.

During the next three months, the three bloggers -- a personal shopper, a government employee and a marketing consultant -- will write about trying to meet their everyday needs through local retailers.

Rutherford says even if shoppers can shift a fraction of their dollars to independent, local businesses, it can make a big difference.

"We know if just 10 percent gets shifted, that means more jobs, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for your community," she says.

The first "Shop Local Alexandria" blog goes online this week.

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