When you put your dollars into the hands of a local business owner instead of a national chain, you strengthen local businesses. This also helps non-profit organizations that get 250% more support from small local shops that large corporations. Buying local can mean visiting local shops on foot or ordering them online, where possible. The benefits of buying local products include more than just getting the freshest ingredients or helping someone you know.
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Building a Community
If you spend money locally, chances are you eat at local restaurants and shop at smaller local stores. In general, you are experiencing and being a part of the fabric that weaves your town’s identity. Subsequently, this is what makes a community home. Local flavor and color goes beyond farm fresh produce grown in fields near where you live. Understanding the identity and character of your town from the perspective of a tourist can help you fully appreciate where you come from.
Save Some Gas for the Next Generation
Local businesses can also buy locally produced supplies, parts and inventory that require less transport.
This saves gas, which is good for the planet as well as town craftsmen and vendors. Developing a “downtown” or city center feel is a great way to amass people into one place where they will spend more money. It’s also a way to contain urban sprawl and loss of natural habitat due to building on pristine habitats rather than available land.
Help Reduce Local Unemployment
Creating good jobs at fair wages helps sustain the community by keeping the local economy flowing. Local employees spend more money at local establishments. Buying goods produced in another city just moves the dollars out of your area and benefits someone else’s town.
Have you ever noticed how much friendlier people are in a locally owned business? That’s because the owner or manager is likely close at hand, and because the person behind the counter is more likely to know you.
Keep People in the Community
Local businesses are owned are less likely to move to save a little money on foreign labor.
Tax Money at Work
Local businesses concentrated into town centers do not require extensive infrastructure, which means that your tax burden decreases with a more efficient use of local resources.
Keep Price Creep Down
Buying at smaller stores instead of large conglomerates promotes diversity and competition, both natural price controls. One of the benefits of buying local products is the tendency to promote innovation and competitive prices on products driven by demand, not pushed on you by national chains exerting marketing pressure to empty out excessive inventories.
Local Prosperity is Contagious
In a heterogeneous local environment, entrepreneurs tend to settle in the communities where their businesses are located. Prosperity tends to spread outward, as innovative people are drawn to prospering towns and introduce more unique local products. So, in effect, buying local encourages growth in population and economic well-being, not just for your town, but the next town over as they emulate this model and develop their own specialties, which increases trade between two local communities.