2011-11-17 / Editorial

Shopping local helps keep the community strong

This year “shopping local” is taking on new meaning as the economy sputters and struggles. There are many benefits for yourself and your community.

Local businesses are the backbone of the local economy. When you buy local, you are actually supporting yourself. Shopping local helps maintain a diverse, healthy community. Studies have shown that when you buy from independent, locally owned businesses – rather than nationally owned businesses – your dollars have three times more impact in the community. Those dollars are used to make purchases from other local businesses. That helps to strengthen the economic base of the community.

Local businesses support local community groups. Non-profit organizations receive an average 250 percent more support from small business owners than they do from large businesses. Shopping local keeps the community unique. Local businesses define the character of the community. Local businesses are where we shop, where we eat and where we have fun. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are integral to the distinctive character of the community. Local businesses make the community more dynamic and interesting.

When you shop local you reduce the environmental impact. Generally, you travel less when you buy locally. And locally owned businesses can purchase local goods that require less transportation. This helps to reduce pollution, urban sprawl, automobile use and wildlife habitat loss. These days we are concerned about being green and reducing your carbon footprint. A sustainable economy is important. Shop local and you’ll help to create and preserve local jobs. Without doubt, small local businesses are this nation’s largest employer.

You get better service when you shop local. Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling. People who work in local businesses take more time to get to know their customers. Local businesses treat you well because they want your repeat patronage.

When you shop local, you invest in the local community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community. Those business owners are less likely to leave and are more committed to the community’s future.

Shop local and put your taxes to good use. Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.

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