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Local economic resiliency forum set

Reprinted from the Independent Coast Observer - July 5, 2013

Mendonoma Transition Towns and Go Local Mendonoma will present a forum to discuss how coastal residents and business can strengthen the community on Tuesday, July 9, at 7 p.m. at the Coast Community Library in Point Arena.

The forum will focus on building local economic resiliency in light of the large retail corporate box stores in Ukiah and Santa Rosa.  Steve May, co-owner of Surf Market in Gualala, Joel Crockett, co-owner of Four-Eyed Frog Books, and Marco Moramarco of Pazzo Marco Creamery will present information on the needs of the local economy.

"Go Local and Transition Mendonoma are about supporting local business and farmers, building community social networks, harnessing natural and social diversity  celebrating what our wonderful coastal community has to offer, and taking care of each other," said Joel Chapan, Coordinator for Transition Mendonoma.

"Large retailers such as Walmart, Costco, and Target are 'killing Main Street,' not only in the major urban areas in which they are located, but on our coast as well," he added.

Besides the shift to 'big box stores,' Crocket said the Internet is also providing heavy competition to local retailers.  He will talk about the impact of these trends on Four-Eyed Frog Books in particular and on Cypress Village, where the Frog is located.

"I look out and there are three empty shops right outside our door," Crockett said.

May said he will talk about the Go Local movement and specific actions people can take to support the local economy.  "Anybody who is interested in Go Local and what it's about is going to find this interesting and informative," he said.

"Go Local programs in other communities have been extremely successful in returning vitality to the community." May added.  "I'll discuss how to sign up and what actions people can take to get the same results in our community."

Moramarco will walk people through the Go Local Mendonoma Coast website.

"Locally owned businesses are the foundation of a thriving economy," Chapan said. "By consciously making an effort to spend 10 to 15 percent less at big box stores and more in our community, there will be more business to choose from, a better selection of goods and services, more taxes to support the library and other public services, more job opportunities and better paying jobs."

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