Seven Sweet Rewards of Buying Local
Of course, local finds go well beyond food to cover all the goods and services we need. That’s great news we can all use! Even better, choosing to get these from independent businesses in our area has lots of benefits for ourselves, our communities, our regional economy and the planet. Though at times it may seem more expensive, every purchase returns much more than the amount we pay.
We thought we’d share some benefits we’ve learned about and experienced in our own efforts to increase our local purchasing to spread the positive news and a little inspiration.
- Local is fresh and tasty! You’ll enjoy peak flavor and more nutritious food when you get food direct from the farmer, rancher, baker and cheese-maker. Food that has had to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles is tired – and you can taste it.
- Local empowers consumers. We can learn more about what’s behind what we buy when we can talk to the folks who make it and work directly with producers. When we shop at the farmers market, we can ask about farming practices and find sustainable, chemical-free produce that’s more healthful for us and the environment.
- We protect and create jobs in our communities. Local businesses need employees—sustaining employment right here at home. We’re proud to have over 60 employees and support lots of hardworking local farmers, food artisans, service providers and more. It’s like a big family!
- Locally-spent dollars multiply in our economy as they re-circulate. Number-crunchers say that shopping at a local business yields three times more investment in local communities than shopping at a non-local one. The longer a dollar stays in our community, the more this benefit grows. The more dollars that stay local, the bigger this benefit gets.
- Local businesses support our communities. Check out this cool fact from our friends at THRIVE: “A study of charitable giving in Oregon showed that when in-kind contributions were included, small firms gave an average of $789 per employee, medium sized firms $172, and large firms $334. (NFIB Small Business Policy Guide)”
- We build relationships. Our local vendors are responsive to our needs and have become important partners in shaping our business success.
- We save resources and cut emissions. Local purchasing means shorter transportation distances, using less gas and making fewer emissions.
Wow! That’s a lot of goodness—and that’s just a piece of the pie. For more information and inspiration, pay a visit to THRIVE online, and check out their local benefits list. Then, get out and support your favorite local producers, merchants and service providers.
(photos: M. Schweisguth)