The Rev. Bennie Simmons Jr. believes economic renewal starts one sale at a time.
On Friday, Simmons and others started to put that plan to the test by unveiling "Let's Go Buy Somethin," which will pick a new Gary business each month and encourage residents to shop there. The first store chosen was Esquire Men's Store at 1536 Broadway.
"Our plan is for the month of September is to get everybody who lives in Gary ... to go buy something out of that store," Simmons said.
Simmons said efforts to encourage people to shop solely in Gary won't work because the town doesn't have all the amenities people need. The "Let's Go Buy Somethin" plan will push business to individual stores, getting the economic ball rolling that way, he said.
The plan was unveiled Friday at a news conference at the store.
Attendees included Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who bought some ties.
"It's a creative idea to help bolster some economic support for the Gary businesses," city spokeswoman Chelsea Whittington said.
The store for October hasn't been chosen yet, Simmons said. Business owners who want to be considered should call Simmons at (219) 241-3288.