Why Shop/Buy Local? Does it Matter?

With the ability to buy anything available at our fingertips, whether online, by phone, on TV, etc does shopping and buying local really make a difference?  In a word, YES! There are a myriad of reasons to consider your local merchants first whether buying routine purchases such as groceries or household items, buying for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, or for large infrequent purchases for your home or special interests. Consider these factors – for $100 spent in a local independent business, it creates an additional $68 of local economic activity.  If spent in a local chain store it creates an additional $43 in local economic activity.  Spend it online, or in some way outside your local area and a big fat $0 returns to the local economy. Here are 9 reasons to spend locally with some humor injected to remember them: Show Me the Money! – Spending local keeps more dollars circulating within the local economy in the form of taxes, wages, donations, etc.  As Oregon works to lower its unemployment rate and return to prosperity you can help by where you spend your hard earned dollars. JOBS! – It’s a circle.  Spend at a local business, it grows, hires more people, they spend locally, other business grows, hires more people, etc.  Studies have shown that local small businesses are the backbone of employment in the U.S. economy.  Grow Oregon jobs! Non-Profits PROFIT – Local non-profits enjoy more support from local businesses than from those outside the community.  So many of our non-profits meet vital needs for those in need in our communities, support the businesses that support them. Weird  or  Wonderful  –Buying local  helps create the unique characteristics of the community you live in. We are all part of a community whether we realize it or not.  Wouldn’t you rather talk about that unique boutique store where you bought that cool gift, the great local farmer’s market, the funky restaurant that you can walk to,  the coffee shop that knows you,  or the local hardware store that saved your schedule during a kitchen remodel when describing your community?  I sure would. It’s  GREEN – Local businesses usually source more locally and are closer by.  Decrease your footprint, limit your impact on the environment and save yourself some gas and time as well.  Who couldn’t use that when gas prices are pushing $4/gallon and there never seems to be enough time. Who loves you baby? – Numerous studies show that consumers experience much better customer service/care from local business since they live or die by their reputation, you as a result get a much higher standard of service. Home Sweet Home – As they live and work local, local businesses invest more in their community.  Help stimulate local investment! Green Eggs & Ham – Local merchants are more likely to stock what customers want and are interested in buying rather than trying to push the latest trend.  Buy what YOU want, not what someone else thinks you should want. Live Long & Prosper – Entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more attracted to invest and settle in communities that have one of a kind businesses and distinctive character rather than a more homogenous community. So whatever resonates with you, think about it the next time you shop or buy.  We are all in this together. Information for this article was gathered from a variety of sources including the 350 Project, The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics and sustainableconnections.org.  The Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce is a support of The 350 Project, http://www.the350project.net    

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