Shop local, support locals
Nov 15, 2012 | 1791 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shopping local is a something that’s good to do any time of the year, but it’s especially critical during the upcoming holiday season. We’ve written many times about the virtues of shopping local first. We realize not every good or service can be purchased here in the valley, but many can. By shopping in the valley first, money stays in the community.

Don’t just take our word for. Many realize the value of shopping local first. Here’s one additional take, from an article in Time magazine:

The New Economics Foundation, an independent economic think tank based in London, compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket vs. a local farmers’ market or community supported agriculture program and found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally. “That means those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive,” says author and NEF researcher David Boyle.

Indeed, says Boyle, many local economies are languishing not because too little cash comes in, but as a result of what happens to that money. “Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going,” he says, noting that when money is spent elsewhere—at big supermarkets, non-locally-owned utilities, and other services such as online retailers—”it flows out, like a wound.”

By shopping at the corner store instead of the big box, consumers keep their communities from becoming what the NEF calls “ghost towns” (areas devoid of neighborhood shops and services) or “clone towns”, where Main Street now looks like every other Main Street with the same fast-food and retail chains.

The Summerland, BC, Chamber of Commerce also extols the value of keeping money in the community:

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally-owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ workers at decent wages, and serve primarily local customers. It means becoming more self sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant companies and back into the community.

Shopping local boosts the local economy. Shopping local saves time and money. Shopping local creates jobs. Shopping local supports the character of the community. Shopping local increases our tax base. Supporting local business encourages investment. Local businesses invest in Summerland. Local businesses offers choice. Local businesses support community groups.

When considering holiday shopping, consider first what type of business you’re buying from. Is it locally owned? Will the revenue support local employees and the broader community? Can I find what I need here first? All of these things should be weighed before jumping into the car for that trip to a distant shopping Mecca or searching online.

Sometimes, the best value is right here in the community, even if it isn’t the absolute lowest price.
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