By: Kelley Rajala 09/03/2009 Courtesy of Go Local Sonoma County
You have more control over your money and our local economy than you may think. Going Local is actually pretty easy. There are a few simple things you can do to make a huge impact to your bottom line as well as our local economy. Most of these are common sense, but we just don't think about them very frequently. In reality, every dollar we spend— whether on our morning cup of coffee or where we buy our books or where we hold our checking account each dollar can make a difference when we start to think locally. For most people, our biggest expenses are housing, food and transportation. We can make the biggest economic impact when we choose to GoLocal in these three areas, but all our choices add up.
The most important thing to remember is that when you choose to spend money at a locally owned business versus a non-local corporate chain, your hard earned dollars continue to recirculate in the local economy. This is because locally owned businesses tend to do business with other locally owned businesses. For example, a locally owned hardware store will use a local bank or credit union. They will use local printers for mail pieces. They will use other local service providers like CPAs, attorneys and contractors. Whereas, a non-local corporate owned hardware store will use a non-local bank like Chase or B of A. All of their printing and marketing will be done back at the corporate headquarters (Lowe's is in North Carolina and Home Depot's is in Georgia). But most importantly, profits are reinvested back into the local economy with a locally owned business. All of the profits at a non-local business are sent back to headquarters out of the state.
Here are 10 easy ways to GoLocal First:
- Switch to a Local Credit Union or Bank (GoLocal Members)
- Don't shop online unless it’s a local company. None of your money stays local when you shop online! (Think you'll miss Amazon? Try this!)
- When you have a choice, choose an independent, locally owned business before a non-local corporate store. (GoLocal Directory)
- Buy groceries at a locally-owned market (GoLocal Members)
- Join a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture (fruits & veggies / meat)
- Buy locally made or produced products. (Food & Agriculture, etc)
- Instead of buying, start sharing
- Get the real scoop! Read and listen to local independent media.
- Walk, ride your bike or take the bus...you might even get a discount for doing so!
And, by all means, pay off your credit cards as quickly as possible to eliminate paying interest to the big credit card companies.
By acting on a few of these ideas, you'll start to feel the power in your purse or pocketbook and help us get closer to local economic independence. So remember...GoLocal First!
Six Reasons to GoLocal:
- Buying from locally owned businesses rather than chain stores keeps your money circulating 3 times longer in the local economy.
- With that money, local businesses create the majority of new jobs.
- Local businesses are, by far, the best supporters of community projects and non-profits.
- Because they live here, local businesses provide the best customer service and support.
- Buying locally helps protect the planet because fewer products are shipped from far away places.
- Most of all, supporting local business and products preserves OUR unique place, not just cookie-cutter Anyplace, USA.
Information from AVMA
Here are a few links to sites you might find helpful: