Group urges to spend stimulus money locally

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(Host) Federal policymakers are hoping that consumers cut short the national recession by quickly spending their economic stimulus checks.

A local group says the money can have an even bigger impact if Vermonters spend it at local businesses, farms or by donating it to area nonprofits.

Economist Tom Kavet says the group, known as “Keep it in Vermont,” may be on to something.

(Kavet) “If you spend for something that’s produced locally, you’d be paying somebody who manufactures or grows something or produces something locally. They in turn are spending a higher proportion of that money a second time on to other people who spend it a third time on to others, oftentimes locally, that would spend it a fourth time. So it has higher value.”

(Host) Kavet says to make a difference in Vermont’s $20 billion economy, organizers would have to draw a lot of people to the cause.

Backers of “Keep it in Vermont” say they’ve got commitments from Vermonters to spend $132,000 in stimulus payments locally.

Champlain College professor Rob Williams is working with the group.

(Williams) “This would be a great way to jump start the Vermont economy over the next four months or so.”

(Host) “Keep it in Vermont” believes its movement will grow once people start getting their checks. The IRS say they’ll be mailed starting next month.


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