The Graham County Chamber of Commerce hopes to find out which supplies local businesses can only find out of town, with an eye toward helping make those supplies available locally.
The chamber’s Buy Local Committee is putting together a short business survey to find out what items members have to travel to bigger cities in order to find. One of its goals is helping local businesses provide those items — things like paper goods, cleaning supplies, office supplies and food.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vance Bryce said the first surveys would be sent to restaurants, with other types of businesses to follow.
“They (restaurants) all need sanitizing supplies to meet the executive orders, and we’re going to see where they’re getting them. I know several of them drive to Costco in Tucson every week, and that tax money goes to Tucson. Those jobs are in Tucson.
“The chamber’s interest is to convince people that it’s cheaper to buy locally so that the tax money and the jobs stay here.”
The chamber is also looking to connect businesses with possible local sources for those items, like Safford Builders Supply.
“We’re looking at their capacity to fulfill orders for local businesses for paper goods, cleaning supplies, anything like that they can show us,” Bryce said during a recent visit to that store.
“We stock different items for different dispensing systems — paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies,” said Tom Ollerton, of Safford Builders Supply. “Hospitals have gone to paper products in their food services, and we carry paper and styrofoam plates.
“We work with a few restaurants and would love to work with more. We’ve also been trying to supply doctors’ offices and clinics.”