Over the past few years, shopping locally has become a prevalent movement. Why? Because many shoppers are reconsidering their purchasing habits from depending entirely on imports to supporting their local communities.
As consumers, we have more power than we realize with our purchasing decisions. With each purchase, we decide which businesses we support and why. Is convenience most important to us? Quality? Cost? All of the above? Everyone’s reasoning for their purchases are respectfully different (there’s no right or wrong answer here!), and each purchase we make is a vote from our wallets. Here are some examples of how making an intentional decision to support local businesses with our purchases can make a difference.
Supports Local Economy
When we shop local, the money we spend powers the local economy. Not only does a consumer’s money spent go toward the business we’ve purchased from, but it also goes to providing more jobs to people in our community who work for that business. When you purchase from locally-owned businesses, more money is kept in the local business community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers, and farms. You are not only supporting one local business, but helping grow other local businesses in your community as well.
Lowers Carbon Footprint
Shopping locally also has a positive impact on the environment, especially when we consider the food we buy. Shopping locally not only helps your local farmers, but it also cuts down on the carbon required to process, package, and ship foods to your nearest grocery stores. Also, local businesses provide a centralized purchasing point that is much friendlier to a community’s carbon footprint than having consumers resort to driving to out of town shopping malls to make their purchases. Not only are the carbon emissions cut down from the local businesses perspective, but from the consumers as well.
When was the last time you had to call a large corporation for help? It probably required listening to a consistent loop of elevator music while transferring from one customer representative to the next. When you shop local, the owner of the business is usually directly connected with every employee in the company, which results in a more personal approach with their customer service. Any inquiry that you have will be taken more seriously and answered personally.
Improves Your Health
Buying local also has a positive impact on your health. When you buy local food from farmers, you can trust that your local farmers are treating their crops and animals with care which means that your food will be fresh and flavourful. You will have a better sense of what food you are putting in your body, giving you peace of mind and confidence in the food that you are consuming.
Provides More Choices for Consumers
When we support local and often smaller, upcoming businesses, more businesses are welcomed into the market giving consumers more choice when making purchasing decisions. More choice means that we can vote with our wallets and keep more options and variety available to serve the diverse needs of everyone in our communities. Over time, more needs can be met while the competition will drive down the prices of goods. Choosing local also means that items are unique and have an interesting story. Not only does this translate to having higher quality, but it means you have more to tell your friends when they compliment you on your style and taste. This creates word of mouth naturally, which is helpful for that small business. It’s a win-win for both businesses and consumers.
Serving the Local Good
When we make purchases with intention, they have more positive impacts in our communities than at first glance. Our purchases have power, and we can use that power for the greater good in our local communities.
The next time you are making a purchase, consider taking a moment to make that purchase with intention. It could make a difference to a local business near you.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
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