You’ve probably heard the statistic about buying local vs. buying from national chains and the impact on local communities. $58 of every $100 spent at locally owned businesses stays in the local economy, compared to just $33 from big chain purchases (2011, Maine Center for Economic Policy). But that’s just part of the story.Read More >>
When you buy local, you’re paying for the product, not shipping and handling costs. You get what you want, when you need it, instead of waiting for a product to arrive from some out-of-state warehouse.
Buying local improves how quickly that money moves through the community, or the money’s “velocity.” Money in a local community is like blood flowing through the human body. It needs to circulate in order to keep it functioning properly. The more hands that money touches as it circulates, the more people benefit. It needs to flow through the pockets of consumers, stores and municipalities to keep the entire body healthy.
You dramatically decrease the likelihood of hassles and headaches when you buy local. Because products travel shorter distances, they’re less likely to be broken or damaged. If you do have an issue with your purchase, you can usually deal with it locally instead of dealing with customer service representatives, many of whom aren’t even in this country, much less the local community.
Sales tax stays local. We all grumble about paying sales tax, but when you buy from a local business, that sales tax is essentially an investment in your own community – better schools, better infrastructure, better facilities and services, better roads and bridges, and a safer community for everyone.
You’re investing in a cleaner environment. Because significantly less fuel is burned and less packaging is required, a local purchase is an inherently greener purchase.
When companies see a local business community thriving, they want to be a part of that community. That creates more choice, more jobs and more revenue – three essentials of any local economy. This also makes your community a more popular destination, not just for businesses, but for visitors and future residents, which builds on existing revenue streams.
Getting more bang for your buck isn’t about finding the lowest price. It’s about finding the best value. Buying from major chains enables you to acquire perfectly fine products at competitive prices, but that money is shipped out of town to corporations and investors.
This is the difference between an expense and an investment. When you buy local, you’re making an investment in your community, your economy and your family. And you should expect to see a valuable, sizable return on that investment – over and over and over.