Look, I’m a conservative, politically speaking, and even a year ago, if someone told me to “buy local” I would have rolled my eyes at the perceived long-haired dope-smoking liberal spewing that out to me.
Ok, I’ve changed my tune on the issue, and listened. Of course, there is a self-interest served in my touting the Buy Local mantra, but if that’s what it took to open my eyes to the issue – and the benefits to my neighbors – then so be it; mea culpa.
This is some interesting stuff I learned:
- Local business generates 70% more local economic activity per square foot then big box retail.
- For every $100 spent locally, $68 is returned in local economic activity, versus 48% with big box retail.
- Money spent at a local business generates 3.5x more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent a chain store biz.
- Each year, the US sends $2.2 trillion around the country and abroad, using about 11 billion gallons of fuel.
- If you choose a local business, you cut down on pollution, processing, packaging and transportation waste.
- Over 59% of local makers (like me) say they reuse or recycle “occasionally or usually”.
- If every family in the US spent just $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business, instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.
I used to kinda chuckle when I would hear older folks talking about buying stuff in the US, lamenting how less and less is made in the US. Seems the older I get, the smarter these older folks become – and I’m 50. I’ve actually found myself trying to buy local when I can. My wood guy, or sawyer, is local; he’s a new guy, and I’m trying to give him all the business I can. I try to patronize private restaurants, and not these big box restaurants like Olive Garden or Cheesecake Factory. You can never get a seat in these places on a Friday or Saturday night; but private restaurants? You can usually just walk right in, and the food is usually just as good, if not better. I like supporting the little guy…I guess, because I’m the little guy now. I like to help a family keep their restaurant, or other business. It’s worth mentioning that you’ll usually get better service in these private places because they know it’s there edge on the big box’s pricing edge, sometimes.