When you shop local the money you spend cycles back into your community. This action supports businesses operating in your region. As a result, local businesses are able to continue employing residents within the community. According to a recent study by the American Independence Business Alliance, for every $100 that is spent with a local business, about $68 remains in the city. That same $100 spent at a national chain or big-box retailer leaves only $43 in the community.
When you shop at the local farmer’s market for produce, you support the market itself and those who sell there. Farmers sign up to come to a market based on foot traffic and sales. Consequently, when customers make it worth their while, they continue to show up and offer healthy produce for the entire community to enjoy.
By shopping local, you get access to a variety of healthy, artisan level ingredients for your family. You’ll also be able to serve up healthy meals with the freshest possible ingredients. The produce won’t have to be shipped from across the country for days before it reaches you. Even if you do not have a local farmer’s market, shopping at a local grocery store that purchases produce grown in your community has the same impact on your ability to access local, healthy food. Organic, grass-fed beef, local honey, fresh eggs and more can be purchased locally to support small farms and business people.
In contrast, the peach that appears on your big-box grocer’s shelf is picked before it’s ripe and has been grown to withstand a journey. Additionally, mass production optimization also means you may not get the best nutritional value. As big-box vendors will consider optimizing fruit to gain more value for each shipment.
The peach at your local peach orchard or farmer’s market has been allowed to ripen on the tree and picked just before the point of sale. It has also likely been bred for taste and texture, not for its ability to withstand a long boat or train ride.
The long ride from supplier to store means that plenty of gasoline is needed to get big-box store items from one place to another. From gas consumption to emission fumes, buying local cuts the carbon footprint of the products and services you need. If you are concerned about the environmental impact of your lifestyle or your overall carbon footprint, then buying locally is your best bet.
It can be challenging to track down someone to help you when you work with a large corporation or brand. That 800 number is just the start; you’ll usually end up speaking to multiple parties before (hopefully) resolving your problem. The person you ultimately speak to likely has little decision-making power or authority and really won’t care whether you continue to use the brand or not.
When you need help with something at your local bank, bookstore or service brand, shopping local gives you an opportunity to speak to someone directly invested in the brand and the local community. You’ll be able to get someone quickly, without a lot of hassle and often speak directly to the owner or manager. Someone with the authority to help you right away. You’re not a faceless account number or order number to a local business, you’re a real, valued customer who is not easy to replace. This often results in much better customer service and attention to detail.
From supporting a thriving local economy to maintaining the level of service and expertise offered in your own community, buying local has a significant impact on your local area. When you commit to shopping locally, you do more than just make a purchase from someone you know, you’re adding and enhancing the entire network of your community and making it a better place for all.
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