Buy Pittsburgh First
is not something that will work everywhere, but it’s definitely working in Pittsburgh, says company founder Chantel Goldstrohm.
The Bridgeville-based firm started two years ago as a grassroots movement to entice local industrial businesses to examine their buying habits and support other local supply and service companies. Many want to buy local but don’t have the time or resources to do it, she says.
Goldstrohm grew up in Cecil and graduated from University of Pittsburgh. Her experience in sales and marketing, along with her husband’s work in the industrial sector, led her to realize that with the economic downturn, people in the industrial supply business might be inclined to support one another.
It was a completely new concept when we started, something that had never been done before, she says. “There were nights I couldn’t sleep. We were leading the charge in this realm.”
The success is in the return to local communities, she says. For every $100 spent with a company in Pennsylvania, $68 is recycled back to the community through expenditures, payroll taxes and more. When a company buys outside of the state, only $48 comes back to the region.
That extra $25 has the potential to become a huge source of cash flow to our schools, roads, parks and more.
“Pittsburgh bleeds black and gold. I don’t know we could have gone anywhere else and gotten the support we have,” admits Goldstrohm. “It’s a win win all around.”
Buy Pittsburgh First employs five and is planning on hiring two in 2013.
The company will hold its first annual Buy Pittsburgh First Expo On Oct. 11th, a showcase of the region’s industrial supply, service and manufacturing companies.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Chantel Goldstrohm, Buy Pittsburgh First