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Friday, May 24, 2013

FortThomasMatters: Put Your Money Where Your Home Is!


I think a key to any successful business is the ability to evolve. I'm not talking about changing overnight, but dexterity in thinking is crucial to be able to adapt to our ever changing society. I believe that is one of our strengths of FortThomasMatters.

We are a completely different organization from where we started in 2007 to where we are today. From a sounding board to help run for City Council, to a fledgeling opinion site, to a legitimate news organization with a staff of 7 writers, to a charitable arm of giving, to a dynamic Public Relations team for our advertisers.

Today marks the day of another change. A sustained champion for a SHOP FORT THOMAS campaign. 

There have been well-intentioned attempts at these campaigns before. The Fort Thomas Business Association and the City of Fort Thomas partnered together to spend time and money on their SHOP Fort Thomas campaign. It was basically a website provided by another company that was linked on both of the websites, with specials/deals/coupons from local businesses.

The problem was that the company running the site was not local. The FTBA and the City had the right idea, they just did not have the platform to make it go.

With our readership at 40,000 per month strong and now a platform in The Fort Thomas Living, we obviously do. I almost feel an obligation to our businesses, our business owners and our city to bust my tail to learn what it takes to evolve into a SHOP LOCAL Champion.

There are many in depth studies that demonstrate the power of SHOP LOCAL. In an effort to keep your attention, I'll list those below for your perusal and simply do my best to tell you the best three reasons to consider SHOP FORT THOMAS:

1) Keeping our money here keeps our money here. I know that sounds redundant, but it doesn't make it any less true. Tax revenues from these businesses allows our officials to keep our city clean, safe and beautiful. Getting Fort Thomas out of the mind set to driving to Cincinnati, Newport or Covington for what they can get in town is going to be a tough endeavor, but a worthwhile one.

2) Buy LOCAL campaigns WORK!

 3. We have undertaken a cash mob at The Blue Marble and talked about Small Business Saturday on FTM over the last few years. But this SHOP FORT THOMAS campaign has to be more sustained. Independents Week starts the first week in July. My pledge to our readers, our city and our advertisers is to get something in place by then.

This SHOP FORT THOMAS campaign becomes more important with the retailers moving in right down the road at Newport Pavilion. I'm as excited as anyone over the developments down Grand Ave and onto Carothers Road. But the fact of the matters is this:

If we can get Fort Thomas residents to just start to think Fort Thomas before getting in their car and going elsewhere, our city will be even greater than it already is.

Panera Bread Co. coming to the Pavilion is being met with great optimism. But how many residents have been into Cobblestone Cafe? It's packed everyday because it's unbelievably good. But if we can begin to start to shift our thinking to think Cobblestone over Panera first - THAT'S OUR GOAL.

A small shift, but an important one. It simply means more to Fort Thomas than national chains. Because I learn from pictures more than words, I'll leave you with one more about how much more it means to a local shop and its city, compared to a chain store.

We can do this Fort Thomas!


  1. Sounds Awesome! I don't live in Fort Thomas, but I would like to shop Fort Thomas too. It is so very very important to support independents in all our communities!

  2. Is there a directory of local businesses? I do try to shop locally, but there might be some places that I don't know about. I'm surprised that the Ft. Thomas city website doesn't have a directory; many cities have those.

  3. Love this. The shop local campaign is great and I'm happy to see you working so hard for this.
    Also, Cobblestone is WAY better than Panera could ever dream of being. No way I will ever set foot in Panera with Cobblestone right up the road.
    Finally, does anyone know what happened to the candy store that was on N. Ft. Thomas? Did it move somewhere else or just shut down?

  4. I would say the most comprehensive list of businesses is on the Fort Thomas Business Association website. I don't think there is a total list anywhere, though. May try to compile that at some point.

    I had reached out to The Candy Cottage to help them while they were in business numerous times without success. I had heard they were opening somewhere else and emailed the owner to let me know where they ended up without response as well.

  5. I try to support our businesses as much as possible: Ft. Thomas florists, dental care, orthodontic care, hospital, photography, restaurants, banks,hair dresser, etc as much as possible. I hope the momentum of new businesses contunues. I think a particularly hidden gem is out local pharmacy, Ft. Thomas Drug Center. They deliver as well as provide many personal services that are not found in chain drug stores.

  6. The list of businesses on the Fort Thomas Business Association site is a list of FTBA paid members only, not a complete list of Ft. Thomas businesses. Membership is not limited to Ft. Thomas businesses. The Shop Fort Thomas link on Ft. Thomas web site is also limited to those merchants that have agreed to pay a fee to be listed. It's a good start though.