Taos Woman Expo - and the importance of shopping locally

Taos Woman Expo held at El Monte Sagrado Conference Center. Taos News file photo

Each year the Taos County Chamber of Commerce produces several business expos. This weekend we are excited about the second annual Taos Woman Expo at El Monte Sagrado Conference Center. The Taos Woman Expo grew out of the Taos Wedding Expo as an opportunity to market all types of businesses to the women (and men) of Taos and the Enchanted Circle.

Why we focus on marketing to women at this event is that women make up about 51 percent of the adult population, and as they age, they represent a bigger share of the market. Women are 54 percent of consumers aged 50 and over. They represent 57 percent of all consumers aged 85 and over. In the United States alone, women control about 60 percent of personal wealth since they are more likely to outlive their spouse. Women account for $7 trillion in spending and influence 85 percent of all consumer purchases. Women are the main catalysts behind the purchase of cars, health care, housing, food and vacations.

Exhibitors put their business in front of all the attendees who are qualified buyers and decision makers. Exhibitors create connections, generate new, high-value leads and close sales on the show floor. They get energized by talking to peers and exchanging ideas with them. Above all else, exhibitors want to meet with existing customers, key customers and prospective customers.

For attendees to the business expo, they will meet experienced exhibitors willing to share new ways of doing business more efficiently. It's worth stopping by each booth and inquiring about what they have to offer; you never know where your next business opportunity will come from.

This year, at the Taos Woman Expo, most exhibitors are raffling a door prize from their table. Be sure to sign up at each exhibitor table for a chance to win anything from a Wyndham Resort Vacation to various gift baskets, gift certificates and more.

Moreover, the "Shop Small" or "Shop Local" campaigns remind consumers to put their money where their hearts are. For us, that is Taos. Additionally, more of your money will be kept in your local economy - for every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend that same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community.

When you shop local, you embrace what makes our community unique and you create local jobs - local businesses are better at creating jobs for your neighbors. You nurture community, local business owners know you and you know them. Also, studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of chains.

When shopping in a local business district you use less infrastructure that requires less maintenance, and allows more money to be available to beautify our community. Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong -- in our community! You help the environment because buying from a locally owned business conserves energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation and less packaging.

Take advantage of the expertise in our community: locally owned businesses have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. They're passionate about what they do. Creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon, and when we invest in a strong local economy we make our community more interesting and unique.

Come out this weekend to the Taos Woman Expo, meet up with neighbors and some of your favorite businesses and find something new for your home, family and life. The Taos Woman Expo is open Friday, March 29 from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at El Monte Sagrado Conference Center, 317 Kit Carson Road, Taos.

Contact the TCCC at taoschamber.com, (575) 751-8800 or email susan @ taoschamber.com. The Taos County Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting local businesses.

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