Last time I checked in I gave a top ten list for buying local and organic foods. Today I’m posting a top ten for supporting the local economy by either shopping locally and eating locally. and by shopping and eating i’m not referring to the local mcdonald’s, applebee’s or walmart down the street. i’m referring to the eclectic eateries and shopping experiences that people in your community have a vested interest in. anyway, without further ado, courtesy of Joe’s “43 List”:
1. Keep money in our community: Significantly more money re-circulates locally when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned businesses. This multiplier is due in part to locally owned businesses purchasing more often from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base. (A 10/04 study shows that locally-owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact—For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes back into the community and our tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store, only $14 comes back).
2. Support community groups: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller locally-owned business owners than they do from large businesses.
3. Keep our community unique. Where we shop, where we eat and have fun—all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
4.Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
5. Create more good jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
6. Get better service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
7. Invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
8. Put your taxes to good use: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
9. Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
10. Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.