PHASE II: Locally Fir$t Facebook Challenge

Locally Fir$t Union County heads into Phase II of movement

Union County, IL; March 23, 2015 – The members of Union County Women in Business are now planning phase two of their campaign, Locally Fir$t Union County. A major social media marketing effort will play the largest part this year in spreading awareness about thinking, shopping, buying Locally Fir$t to ensure Union County, Illinois thrives!

The Locally Fir$t Union County movement was launched by the Union County Women in Business organization in 2014 as a result of a presentation by Susan Odum, U of I Extension at a Union County Economic Development board meeting. The group decided to make it their main focus the past year with the goal of bringing awareness of how shopping locally as much as possible can make a big difference in our county and communities retail tax revenue.

The group spent 2014 creating a logo, literature, t-shirts, automobile window decals, and yard signs. Group leaders, Evelyn Bailey, of Southern Real Estate Group and Charlotte Clover of Country Financial, both located in Anna, led a grass-roots, foot on the ground approach to educate the county about the new movement. The two set up and delivered numerous presentations targeted to specific groups they felt would have the biggest impact and ripple effect in their communities as well as county-wide. These groups included administrators and teachers at the school districts located within Union County, various churches, business organizations, clubs, and open public forum style meetings. The city officials, elected officials, and Union County Chamber of Commerce among others were invited to attend.

Union County Women in Business further promoted the Locally Fir$t cause with participation in parades, a presence at the business expo and establishing a Facebook page. “Social Media of course is a great way to connect with local businesses and share with the region what they have to offer and what is going on in our county. This year we plan to utilize social media as our main avenue to further build on our accomplishments from 2014. With awareness to spend Locally Fir$t our priority, what better way to get that message out than through pictures and customer testimonials shared with friends, co-workers, and family on Facebook,” says Evelyn Bailey, administrator for the Locally Fir$t Facebook page.

“The best part of living in or visiting rural America is finding those unique, hidden locally-owned treasures that offer one of a kind items or services you can’t get anywhere else,” says Charlotte Clover, “and we want the people of Union County to share those favorite experiences!” So, Union County Women in Business recently introduced their Locally Fir$t Facebook Challenge! Members have been posting photos of themselves thinking, shopping, and buying Locally Fir$t at their favorite Union County businesses. They then nominate their friends to “Take the Locally Fir$t Facebook Challenge” as well. “Our hope is to showcase all of the fabulous finds Union County has to offer sometimes reminding and sometimes surprising residents all the county has available right here! Of course the ultimate goal is to really spread the word further out, drawing folks from neighboring counties to visit our area and see for themselves the remarkable places and services of Union County,” said Michelle Sirles, of Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass.

The Union County Women in Business know there are a lot of factors that attribute to increases in tax revenues; however they do hope their efforts help play a part. The group is certainly planning to continue supporting the county that supports their businesses.

For more information about Locally Fir$t Union County or to learn more about and participate in the Locally Fir$t Facebook Challenge visit us on Facebook and be sure to “Like” www.facebook.com/locallyfirstunioncounty