♫♪…Schools out for summer…schools out forever…♪♫

  • By: Fresno Chamber Vice President/Coo, Anna Borgeas

With graduation season upon us, many families may be trying to find a way to create a lasting memory before the proverbial birds fly the coup (or, depending on your perspective, the cuckoo’s nest). And while many of us may head for the coast for some fun in the sun, let’s not forget, we got sun too.  Lots of it.  In fact, we are among the top 10 sunniest places in the US. (We do, after all, produce raisins.)

So what can you do in all this sunshine?

Go take a hike…in Yosemite, Sequoia or Kings Canyon. A perfect way for families to frolic in the sun, make sure to stop by your favorite deli, grab a stick of salami, cheese and a loaf of fresh bread for a relaxing picnic in the park. And for the parents on this trip, find yourself a nice winery on the way and pick up one of our regions delicious wines (don’t forget the corkscrew).

Go up the creek…well, river, and don’t forget the paddles.  Rent a canoe or kayak and make your way to the Kings or San Joaquin River. Also a perfect place for a picnic, grab some luscious fruit from the road stands and get ready to soak up the sun and listen to the birds sing while floating down the river.

Make waves at the lake.  Take a drive through the country side.  Catch a concert, a game, or a festival.  Just get out and play.

But play smart and make your money count more than once. As we collectively change our habits to “Buy Local” to support our community and economy, let’s not forget to “Play Local” too. We have all heard about the Local Multiplier Effect (LME).  What is astonishing is that less than a century ago, industrial communities had an LME of about 30.  Today, it is estimated to be in the single digits.  This decrease in the number of times a dollar is circulated in a local economy is devastating to a community and the businesses that sustain that community.  With that, if you knew you could get a double digit return on every dollar you invest, you would, right?  Well, for every dollar you spend locally, we get up to 45 cents reinvested back into our economy.

Now that is reason enough to Play Local.

(for ideas on where to play, visit playfresno.org).

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