'Buy Local' Shopping Gains Steam - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

'Buy Local' Shopping Gains Steam

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We all know that buying local is a big economy booster because the money spent here stays here. But to Dave Asher, it's almost a religion. As we heard him tell listeners on his weekly radio show, “You guys going to lunch today? Make sure it’s the locally owned restaurant. Buy local is the number one way to create jobs!"

When you hear the term "buy local" in northern Nevada, it probably had its origins with Dave Asher. He's been tirelessly banging the drum for the local-only movement for years. It all began with Reno's economic boom. As he told us, "We had all these strip malls come in, cookie cutter strip malls that looked like every other city. We lost our local character and flavor of our local-owned businesses."

After he saw too many mom and pops close up, he channeled his inner Steve Jobs and put together a directory of locally owned businesses. On his BuyNevadaFirst.com, "I've got 2,800-some listed here, so we'll be at 3,000 here pretty soon." They are all businesses that buy local themselves and keep the money in town, under every category a shopper needs.

The movement’s still picking up steam. Just this year, he took over a floor of an office building off Vassar Street so local entrepreneurs can rent out space. $300 a month includes furniture, phone, computer, WiFi and receptionist. As Asher told us during a tour, "The space is basically for a local business, a startup, to go to the next step from home based to affordable office."

And come July he'll open the "buy local" store, "Where you're going to get shelves filled with local jewelry, local art, local books, local gifts..." It will replace the "Great Works of China" store, which is moving elsewhere at Reno Town Mall.

For Dave Asher, the buy local movement that seems more fueled by passion than profit, but he knows he’s up against some hard-to-break buyer habits. People buy the brands they do because of familiarity. Yes, the chains hire folks too, but the real impact of buying local is something you don't see. As Asher puts it, the goal is to “keep the money here, keep our local character and our local flavor. I'm kind of brainwashed that way. My nickname has been the ‘crazy buy local guy,’ and I live that tagline."

That he does. If you're interested in that office space, or the online directory of local businesses, click the link below:


-Written by John Potter
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