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8th edition of ‘Orange Wednesday’ campaign starts Nov. 22

The “Buy Local,” or “Cómprale Al de Aquí” campaign will celebrate its eighth edition, highlighting Orange Wednesday on Nov. 22 as its main focus. Organized by Empresarios por Puerto Rico, the initiative promotes shopping at local businesses during the holiday season, to help boost the island’s economy.

At a press conference at Teatro Oller in Bayamón, new initiatives for this year’s campaign were announced. For the first time, the campaign is supported by several municipalities, including Bayamón, Camuy and Arecibo, along with the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish), the House of Representatives, and the Economic Development Bank.

Elliot Pacheco, president of Empresarios por Puerto Rico, emphasized the importance of buying from local businesses.

“Buying from local businesses is essential to strengthen our economy, especially since these businesses represent 96% of businesses in Puerto Rico and 83% of the workforce,” said Pacheco. “We are pleased to see that every year we have been able to increase the number of businesses joining the campaign. We are also optimistic about the support we continue to receive from the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) and celebrate the inclusion this year of the Economic Development Bank. With their sponsorship, we are educating about the great importance of everyone supporting our local businesses.”

Pacheco also acknowledged the contribution of municipalities, particularly the mayors of Bayamón and Camuy, for enabling businesses to participate without any investment.

“Their support for this initiative demonstrates their recognition of the positive impact that local businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] have on the economic development of municipalities and all of Puerto Rico. Thank you, mayors, and we hope more municipalities will join this initiative,” he said.

Bayamón Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera encouraged residents to support local SMEs during Orange Wednesday.

“We join the call made by Empresarios por Puerto Rico and acknowledge their effort to boost the sales of small and medium-sized merchants during the holiday season. Bayamón has a large number of SMEs, which, in addition to being an important source of employment, greatly contribute to our economy,” Rivera said.

During Orange Wednesday, around 2,000 local businesses in the Empresarios por Puerto Rico network are expected to offer deals. In addition, 38 locations of Supermercados Selectos, Farmacias Aliadas and its 50 locations, Supermercados Famcoop and its 49 locations, and regional businesses such as Oscar Cash and Carry, FS Perfumes, Droguerías Betances, Planet Solar, and Hyundai de San Sebastián are joining in.

The campaign promotes the message that spending at local businesses is reinvested on the island, creating jobs and strengthening the local economy.

DDEC Secretary Manuel Cidre urged consumers to support local businesses, pointing to the potential economic benefits.

“These companies are an important source of employment and strive daily to provide quality products and services,” Cidre said. “When we buy from a local business, we help them to continue operating and keep that money on the island, generating economic activity. This promotes economic growth for both businesses and Puerto Rico.”

With regard to Camuy’s participation in the campaign, Mayor Gabriel Hernández said that “promoting economic development centered on our local commerce creates a strong foundation for our municipalities and our economy. That’s why this Orange Wednesday initiative seeks to raise awareness and promote the economic development of our small and medium-sized merchants.”

Ninety-six percent of businesses in Puerto Rico are locally owned. Studies by consulting firm Estudios Técnicos show the significant impact of local businesses on the island’s economy, with every million dollars in local sales generating 5.9 jobs compared to only 1.7 jobs at foreign stores. 

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