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Thousand Oaks Consumers Are Urged to ‘Buy Local’

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The slogan isn’t too catchy, but Steve Rubenstein, president of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, believes it could spark the local economy and boost civic pride.

So he’s distributing 5,000 buttons emblazoned with the motto “Buy Local” and he’s urging Thousand Oaks residents to keep their sales tax dollars within city limits.

“It’s good business to do business in the Conejo,” Rubenstein said. “We’re hoping this will catch on, and people will wear the buttons . . . so we can build customer loyalty.”

The red, black and gray buttons form the centerpiece of a $1,500 campaign--sponsored by the chamber, the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall, Oaks Mall, Janss Mall and TransWorld Bank--to stimulate the local economy. All five sponsors will give away buttons during the next few weeks.

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Rubenstein also hopes to persuade Thousand Oaks merchants to incorporate the “Buy Local” logo in print ads and will ask city officials to print the campaign slogan on the back of waste-water bills.

A similar campaign four years ago “did create some awareness,” he said, although it did not necessarily raise local sales.

Rubenstein kicked off the campaign Thursday at an annual lunch honoring local service clubs.

At the noontime ceremony, Zonta Club of the Conejo Valley was named service club of the year, Hospice of the Conejo won the award for volunteer organization, and Ascension Lutheran Church Senior Luther League took the prize for youth service organization.

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