Doug talks with Josh Duder - The Executive Director of the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce about the importance of buying local and local entrepreneurs to a vibrant economy.
In addition, entrepreneurs have the courage to fail and the tenacity to start over until they find success. As we go through the impacts of COVID, many local entrepreneurs are figuring out how to adapt to the economic hardships brought on by the shutdown orders.
One of the ways we can all help is to prioritize shopping and dining locally so that we support the people in our community in their efforts to drive a recovery.
Another item that Doug and Josh shared in common is that they both served in the US Marine Corps concurrently at the 6th Engineer Support Battalion HQ in Portland, OR.
You can connect with Josh at: email@example.com
Doug's business specializes in partnering with companies and non-profits to create value and capture cost savings without layoffs to fund growth and strengthen financial results.
You can find out more at www.TerminalValue.biz
You can find the audio podcast feed at www.TerminalValuePodcast.com
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Schedule time with Doug to talk about your business at www.MeetDoug.Biz
Welcome to the terminal value Podcast where each episode provides in depth insight about the long term value of companies and ideas in our current world. Your host for this podcast is Doug Utberg, the founder and principal consultant for Business of Life, LLC.
Doug: Welcome to the terminal value podcast. I have Josh Duder on with us and so Josh I actually share a connection that you might not know. But just by looking at us since we're both old now but we both served in the marines. The marine corps me and the reserve Josh is a permanent personnel at a very similar time. Josh has a far more cool marine background than I do. I think I spent my whole time as a reservist and he did cool stuff like you know fast rope insertions out of helicopters into buildings. But right now Josh is the executive director for the Shah Alam Valley Chamber of Commerce. Josh told me did I say that right.
Josh: Yeah, yeah. Good, good one. It is the executive director the previous three people that were the executive position were considered the CEO and with the last turnover the board of directors wanted to make a title change just to sort of go with a culture change and that isn't it detract from the efforts of the last person but maybe it's a it's an effort to re-engage with the board.
Josh: And encourage them to feel enfranchised.
Doug: Gotcha, gotcha. Well so one of the things that Josh and I would like to talk about today because of course I'm a member of the Chamber of Commerce also one of the chamber ambassadors but what Josh and I would like to talk about is just the importance of local business, the local economy and local entrepreneurs. You know one of the things that I’m an art believer in is that reality happens locally. I know that whenever, If you go on Facebook or any of the other news sites you're going to see national global whatever. If you're in the state of Oregon like we are you'll see stuff from the governor's office all the time because the governor's office is always doing weird stuff but the truth matters what happens in your community generally speaking is what's most impactful to your life. Whether it's your community organizations, schools etc. and so I know one of the things that we're really doing as a part of our Chamber is we're really encouraging. I think after thanksgiving we called it shop local Saturday which was encouraging people to go out and do some of their holiday shopping locally instead of just buying things off amazon or going to the mall. uh So Josh I think the you know feel free to take a swing at anything. I just said or completely take us off in another direction.
Josh: Sure yeah. So I'll just start with the shop local program. I think I’ve worked for the chamber of commerce.
Josh: For we're going to go into my third year here. I was working with membership services and just answering the phone and being sort of all around customer service for the chamber of commerce and without jumping into the big boots right away. It gave me an opportunity to sort of have one-on-one conversations with a lot of members that were at a lower level.
Josh: He sort of got to talk to them about what's going on and I learned a lot. It gave me a good chance to form meaningful conversation relationships and have meaningful conversations with these people who are you're just people and I think before working at the chamber sometimes you would look at people that are in a position of leadership within a company within a company structure.
Josh: And I think especially coming from a military background you go oh well that's the president right. You don't speak to people at the upper echelon of management unless you're spoken too.
Josh: And it's you know and so some of those marine corps traits have guided me successfully to this point. But then when you work within the chamber of commerce it sort of changes those conversations. You know hey, he's the president but he's also a guy that you know puts his pants on the same way you do or you know she orders her coffee the same way you do and so the conversations become personal.
Josh: And within that context. Now that I've taken over the reins for the chamber of commerce. I had a few people that have expressed the interest of promoting small business Saturday. Well you, you and I and everybody but you know they might see this as a hashtag or social media. You know a bit on Facebook or whatever and said okay well that's nice you know I'll do that but what does it mean to these businesses. It means the world to these businesses and so I had the executive director of the downtown coalition Molly. And Molly Olsen and she approached me and said hey I really need your support on this. We are going to support local businesses especially now in the downtime by promoting small business Saturday. Can you write the proclamation? And I said What? What is this proclamation you speak of? And why is this my job? And it turns out I looked into it and traditionally. The executive office from the chamber of commerce is the one who presents the proclamation.
Josh: To the mayor of the city and then the mayor of the city reads it out to the city council. This is all new to me. But, businesses were telling me hey you need to do this and you know and they're just like Josh we need you to oh okay so I had to go back and find an old copy of one and had statistics in it and I had to go find new statistics but we got that in front of the mayor and he read that out. You know in front of the city council and it seemed well worth the effort and so just on November the 28th is the last Saturday. It gave, you know people were going to go shopping anyway but it made it official and it felt like I was a part of promoting that.
Josh: It felt good. it warmed your heart. And so the downtown coalition and the chamber of commerce really pushed this out and then we got some support from our DMO or a destination marketing organization called taste Newberg. okay so yeah.
Doug: And so for anybody who's listening from outside of the Shah Alam Valley Oregon area. Newburgh is a town you know is a town in Oregon south of Portland in the you know probably in the wine area. It's kind of the northern part of the Willamette Valley. Wine region where you have you know Dundee McMinnville etc. but for people who are local they'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Doug: And of course right here Newberg because I think it's where I live. It's where both of us work. I think Josh lives not too far away.
Doug: It's uh it's Lafayette right.
Josh: Yeah it's a 20-minute drive at worst.
Doug: Yeah if you've never heard of Newburgh trust me you really haven't heard of Lafayette.
Josh: But imagine if you lived in a city. If you lived in Portland it would take more time to get from one side of Portland to the other than it would to get from Newburgh to Lafayette.
Doug: Yeah, exactly. Precisely, precisely but yeah I mean of course both Josh are very passionate about just about local business, local economy and I think at least for me one of the things that makes it very meaningful to me is just like when you get to know the people there's just a lot of really really genuine caring people that are you know that are running these local businesses. And you know I think that's like you know you don't you don't necessarily want to say you want to tell people hey shop local like it's an act of charity. It's like your shop local because it's like the way to make resilient communities. You know because like okay yeah you know I'm sure I can buy something for five percent less on amazon. You know but the fact of the matter is that you know that I would not notice that five percent. The only reason why I notice it is because I'm doing an online comparison shopping. You know because one of the things they say in sales is that everybody has something where they don't pay attention to the price and so we're not saying you shouldn't pay attention to the price on anything but the thing is if you're talking 5 10 percent and the difference is local. It really is worth it to support your local providers just because a lot of times a you know your: A in a lot of cases you'll be either getting better service better products or both and then B is that these local entrepreneurs are usually very very involved in the community and so there's a multiplier effect because like for example almost everybody who's one of the chamber ambassadors is also in one of our two local rotary clubs. And so then what happens is you know as support goes to these local businesses then those people gen you know also are investing time in rotary which is you know which recirculates effort donations etc. into the community. And then kind of creates that virtuous growth cycle. You know but of course the problem is right you can't do that if there's no net inflow of capital into these businesses.
Josh: Yeah one of the one of the statistics that came from that proclamation. I'll throw this out. There was that according to the LA times recently published 66 of 66% of Americans earn less than 41,212 dollars a year right. The best way to help them earn more is to shop local. That being said, that's because directly tied to that statistic is that 65% of net new jobs that have been created by have been created by small businesses since 1995. So there is a higher percentage of Americans that are employed by local and small businesses than they are by corporations even though corporations are proliferating our shopping experiences with easy access to the same goods that we want. There is an incredible value to spending slightly more at Ace Hardware. You know Ace Hardware, yeah it's a big franchise program. But it's independently owned right.
Josh: So the Ace Hardware in Newburgh is owned by Betty and Mark. Forgets chamber members. I value their membership right. They do quite well on their own to to advertise. They don't need the chamber really but they are members of the chamber because they believe in community and helping other
Josh: Businesses that depend on them. So maybe they buy some of their items from other local manufacturers that sell in the Ace. So now what you're doing is you're supporting that local business owner. All the employees that that local business owner employs and the local businesses where that employer or where his hardware or that local franchise you know gets their some of their items from. That they put on the shelf so the money stays in the community. It turns and turns around you know. They spend it on gas at the gas station, the community which also employs a local. You know they buy it at a coffee shop which also employs a local.
Josh: So if you spend your money where you live. It will circulate where you live. If you spend it at a corporation, it will leave the area.
Josh: And you and I know there are some things, there are some things you simply can't get local you know. If you're a parent and you've bought diapers, you know you're buying diapers in bulk and you're getting them from Fred Meyer. You're getting them from Costco.
Doug: Yeah, exactly.
Josh: But good you know is there a local diaper manufacturer no. But there are some things that you should if you can. Source locally.
Doug: Yeah. Well and I think the Ace Hardware I think is an excellent example because like I know for me there are a lot of cases where I will go to the Ace just because I know that the trip will take half as long as if I go to like for example home depot because you know because like in a lot of cases there will be something where I need to fix a problem but I don't know exactly what I need. And if I go to the ace there's people about there's somebody about every second or third aisle who you know who can help me figure out exactly what I need. Whereas I can spend literally hours. You know, I you know basically aisle surfing over at home depot or Lowe's trying to figure out what I need to fix a problem. And so I think that's actually the service component is really I think what separates a lot of the local businesses. You know and I think what you know we're talking about USA pay a little more but in a lot of cases you're not talking identical. You know identical products or services either like for example, I think okay a lot of people like to go to Starbucks to get their coffee well okay if you go to some place like caravan coffee where you know where what they do it's right they have their vacuum sealed being you know they they roast their beans right there. They have them vacuum sealed and then they do their chemex pour over. It's just completely different. It's not even remotely comparable to Starbucks.
Doug: You know but of course you have the to the amateur observer and you know it'd be like okay one's coffee one's coffee what's the difference. But I think then you know it's really kind of developing that appreciation. You know and then of course all the local proprietors where as you said you have their story and are you know and in it almost to a person are just very very community-minded people.
Josh: Another good example would be locally here in Newburgh would be a coffee cottage.
Josh: Coffee cottage is also roast their own coffee right.
Josh: They employ, you know a handful of local college students, high school students to run both their drive through as well as their walk-in café. Full-time roaster, full-time manager but every, every dollar that goes into coffee cottage that helps them sustain their business. Also goes into the pocket of the building owner. The building owner is a graduate of George Fox University. He's a local guy right. Owns several buildings downtown and his number one priority is not to fill his pockets with money from all the rent that he's collecting. No, no it's to keep businesses successful especially in the time of covid of course he wants to pay his bills on time that's sure but it we are in the chamber is in one of the buildings that's owned by the same owner right and so if all of his buildings are full and thriving then he doesn't need to raise the rates.
Jason: To ensure that he breaks even or or covers his costs. So it's all connected.
Doug: Yeah exactly, exactly. Well and that actually so you know you know because I think one of the other areas that I have a high personal interest is in real estate investing. Now I think the kind of the traditional model of real estate investing is when you buy a property. Squeeze every nickel you can in rent out of it. You know but of course I think you know what you're saying is that there's actually sometimes a bigger picture in effect which is where like. For example okay you know let's say that you own a high number of properties in the area keeping all those properties occupied and then maybe you know it's instead of trying to get everyone at the highest rent you possibly can. What you do is you know if you price them at it at a you know at a you know say low competitive rent rate but then just raise it a reasonable amount every year you know over five to ten years you know you'll be right around market rates. You know but then you'll be building in that flexibility to where you can help facilitate that local economy stability.
Josh: Also you create goodwill and so if one of your retail spaces or your commercial spaces or whatever you have. If one of those opens up. You'll have willing tenants.
Josh: You know and they've, they will have heard oh this is a guy or this is a woman that we want to work with. This is a property owner that cares about their property and cares about their tenant. They take care of the property 10 improvements. You know 50% you know covered or whatever the case may be and so if they if they're willing to work with you and help keep that business going positive word of mouth. Just like with any business, positive experiences go really far and all it takes is one bad experience to bring that person down. So.
Doug: Isn't that the same way it works if you're working with Cushman Wakefield.
Josh: Anything really right.
Doug: Well I said yeah Cushman Wakefield the you know one of the enormous commercial property management companies and you know there is no deviation. They have their contract take it or leave it .
Josh: Well sometimes companies are. That's you know, that's the benefit to a corporation though right isn't. It is that they're big, they're too big to fail or...