With so much going on in the world, it’s more important than ever to start thinking about how you can participate in the recovery of your local economy.
Because of the novel coronavirus, many retail businesses are at risk of going out of business or will be unable to recover from their losses.
Instead of throwing your dollars and billion dollar corporations like Amazon and Wal-mart, put your dollars into local products and services when you can.
You don’t have to do this each time, but from time to time, you can make a big difference. In fact, if every family in America put $10 towards local businesses, $9.3 billion would go directly towards stimulating the local economy.
This goes to show that even nationwide baby steps can make monumental differences. Here’s what else you should know about buying local:
It Strengthens the Economy
You might be wondering, does it really help the local economy when you buy locally? The truth is, it does. When you spend money close to home, it stays local.
Research has shown that when you buy local products it tends to circulate locally. For instance, local retailers end up putting 52% of their revenue back into the local economy, compared to chain retailers that put just 14% of their revenue back into the local economy.
Support Your Neighbor
Would you rather support a billionaire or a local neighbor who takes their kids to the same park or grew up in the same neighborhood?
Buying local isn’t just about stimulating the local economy or playing a role in the reduction of greenhouse gases. It’s also about doing something friendly for the people around you.
Whether you’re supporting a local service business (like going to a local mechanic instead of an AutoZone) or local food (like going to the farmer’s market for fresh produce instead of a Whole Foods), you can put your hard-earned dollars to businesses.
These businesses’ success depend on people like you who put extra thought and care into their purchasing habits. At the end of the day, the consumer and the business owner can both support each other face to face.
Transparency is such an important part of business today. Modern consumers care more than ever about where their products are sourced from.
In fact, research has shown that people are willing to pay a little more for a product that’s produced locally than they are to take a bargain on a product that comes from another state or country.
When you go to your local farmer’s market, you know where your food is coming from.
Better for the Planet
The fact is, food miles consume energy, and energy contributes to poor air quality. Food miles refers to the distance the food is transported from the time it’s made to the time it takes to reach a consumer.
In many cases, the more food miles attached to a product, the less sustainable it is. Flying in vegetables from Mexico, for example, is significantly more damaging to the environment than purchasing from local markets.
Furthermore, corporate companies use much more packaging, and that packaging isn’t helping the world.
Every year, America transports $2.2 trillion worth of product, which equates to 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide and $1.1 billion gallons of fuel.
Rising carbon dioxide levels continue to heat up the global, contributing to global warming, while fuel consumption contributes immensely to air pollution.
Purchase Union Products
Union-made goods and services are those that are produced by companies that have made the commitment to provide safe working conditions, fair wages, and access to healthcare—these are the companies that are helping strengthen America’s middle class.
In today’s fragile economy, this is more important than ever. If you can’t find local union products, try using a website like Frank Dolittle, which curates union-made goods.
When you purchase union products, you know that your money is going towards companies that proactively support goods made in ethical shops.
Stimulates Local Jobs
Buying local also helps businesses create job opportunities in the community. Other studies have shown that locally owned businesses retain more employees overtime and employ more people per each unit of sale, compared to national corporations.
Therefore, the growth of local businesses helps to create a local economy that is more resistant to an economic recession.