We hear it all the time, buy local, support family-owned businesses, shop small…but why? It seems logical, and I am guessing that it does some good. I know it feels incredible, but what about buying from small businesses in our hometown is just so great?
It strengthens the economy of your community. By that, I mean that more of your dollars stay in your neighborhood. In fact, a study performed in Salt Lake City showed that nearly 52% of the money spent at a small local business stayed there rather than the flooding out that happens with big-box chain stores. Also, the money that remains moves around the community quickly gaining further strength.
It is good for the environment. Keeping your shopping circle small reduces the carbon footprint, especially when it comes to food and beverage items. Many studies have shown that what we consume travels a whopping 1500 miles before it makes its way to our kitchens. This creates a massive burning of fuel and tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Also, local businesses are far less likely to rely on industrial operations that emit massive levels of pollution. On the contrary, mom and pop shops tend to be “makers” and conscientious re-users of resources.
Jobs. Buying local creates employment opportunities right where you need it most…your hometown. The formation of employment adds to this beautiful, virtuous circle, if more residents of your area are employed, they have more money to spend (locally of course), creating, even more, jobs…and the circle continues.
Personal service. There is no match for the relationships you can build with your local providers. Friends are created, and business partnerships are formed.
Solidarity. There is no need to explain this to a Clevelander. We coined the phrase “all in” and live it every day.
Freshness. Food and beverages that travel through many channels over thousands of miles can probably never be labeled fresh. Instead, nothing can taste better than a treat prepared this morning by your neighbor’s hands.
Self-reliance. Buying local creates a self-sustainable community that is less reliant on cheap foreign products.
Buying local is a no-brainer. Nothing builds a great city like the love and support of your tribe. I will admit that local sometimes if not often cost more. However, you benefit from an increase in quality; your community benefits from a healthy, sustainable economic base and mother earth enjoys a cleaner approach. Dollars well spent if you ask me.
Cleveland is so vibrant and alive with local options, we are the home of famous chefs that rival New York City or Los Angeles, our breweries are second to none, coffee roasters abound, and our ice cream is to die for. Not to mention our talented entertainers and community festivals. Look around, and you will see the local scene is abuzz, join the fun, shop small, buy local, support family-owned businesses.