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12 Nov. 19 - Dec. 2, 2011

City of Chandler Insider Invest Wisely, Shop Chandler

While many Chandler residents are carefully watching their budgets, the holiday season usually inspires a few splurges on celebrations such as turkey dinners, gifts and decorations. So, as many residents are enjoying a little shopping, they’re being encouraged to be aware of where they shop. An ad hoc group of city staff and local business advocates are joining together to fi nd ways to remind Chandler residents to Invest Wisely, Shop Chandler.

The group is looking for stories and ideas from residents who choose to Shop Chandler. And if supporting the community isn’t reason enough, the Chandler Fashion Center is offering a gift card to the most creative shopper. Simply use the hashtag #shopchandler to share your favorite story on twitter. Also be sure to follow @shopchandler for ideas on how to keep your dollars at work in your hometown. For more information, visit Invest Wisely, Shop Chandler is the slogan adopted collaboratively between the City of Chandler, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, the DCCP and Chandler Fashion Center. The concept is that shopping in Chandler is more than just spending: it’s putting money towards services and programs that have a return benefi t.

Chandler businesses need the support of residents more than ever. And many youth organizations, food banks and social service agencies rely on the support of the City of Chandler and donations from business owners. Not only is it important to support local organizations that, for the most part employ Chandler residents, but sales taxes collected from local transactions also fund municipal services that are often taken for granted. Parks, roads, recreational facilities and public safety operations are all supported by sales tax revenues. The more spent in Chandler, the better off Chandler residents are.

Chandler residents have an array of choices when it comes to shopping: small, locally-owned boutiques, nationwide chains and restaurants in all price ranges go into the mix of making Chandler a vibrant, viable community. But the survival of these businesses depends on Chandler residents frequenting their stores. Whether it’s a large purchase, or a quick stop in the grocery store, residents are encouraged to Invest Wisely, Shop Chandler. Shopping guru helps local biz thrive

Next time you discover a great new place to eat, entertain your kids, or shop, you might want to think of James Smith, the City of Chandler’s retail specialist in Economic Development. For the last four years, it’s been his job to seek out, recruit and retain all the fabulous shopping venues that Chandler residents clamor for, and he’s been very successful at doing so. While the recession has made his job just that more diffi cult, he’s up to the challenge.

“Right now the biggest struggle is fi lling some of those big boxes that have left the market,” says Smith. “Our biggest recent achievement was helping turn an empty big box into Chandler Preparatory Academy.”

James Smith This move is positive on several fronts. It took obsolete retail out of the market,

beautifi ed the intersection and brought activity to the area. About 80 percent of the attending students commute from outside Chandler, which in turn supports the surrounding businesses.

That’s a success Smith hopes to see repeated through Mayor Jay Tibshraeny’s Four Corner Retail project, which brings together a group of people in multiple disciplines: property owners, brokers, experts in retail, offi ce industrial and multi-family, citizens, chamber representatives, city staff, architects and attorneys. The group’s goal is to provide actionable feedback on what the city and the Economic Development division can do to improve Chandler’s older commercial areas.

Smith is also Economic Development’s point person on the Shop Chandler campaign, which encourages residents to keep their dollars within the city limits. To make it even easier, the division developed a Shop Chandler search page, which acts like an Internet search engine, but limits responses to brick and mortar businesses within the city limits. “It’s just one more way to help people fi nd out what businesses are here in our community,” says Smith.

He also encourages businesses to visit the site to make sure they’ve been included. The link is at, and there’s an easy form online for businesses to fi ll out if they aren’t in the database. “We want to do everything we can to fi nd unique and interesting shopping in Chandler, and once those businesses are here, we want to do all we can to help them succeed.”

Information provided by the City of Chandler Communication and Public Affairs Department

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