Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Buy Local--It's Good For You!

Spring time is Farmers' Market time. I love fresh fruits and vegetables but the produce I find in the supermarket leaves much to be desired. Most of the time the quality stinks (sometimes literally) and the prices make me swoon. So Farmer's Market season makes me smile.

I try to shop locally whenever I can. Whether from a local farmer or a local hardward store, I try to keep my money in my community. Ever need just ONE screw? Go into one of those huge home stores that sell everything from drapes to toilet plungers to seeds asking for one #8 flat head wood screw. Well, first you'll need to find someone to ASK. Good luck. And if you do find what you want, you'll have to buy a plastic box of 20 rather than the 1 or 2 you need.

Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned business, more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms -- continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community. Ever see the name of one of those huge home improvement stores on the uniforms of the local soccer team? And don't assume that buying from one of those chain stores is going to save you money either. Often you are forced into buying more than you need as in my screw example. Besides, even if you do spend a few pennies more, if the money ends up going back into your community, it's an investment, not a loss.

Having always been a proponent of buying locally, I recently joined the Blackstone Valley Independent Business Alliance. Members include insurance agents, restaurant owners, paint & hardware stores, flower shops, builders, a radio station, printers, a tire shop, a ski shop and more....all owned by people who live AND work in the community. These people are my neighbors; I run into them at the post office. They remember MY name. I don't know about you but I like that. I hope we never lose that small-town America feeling in My Community and I intend to put my money where my mouth is.


Alex the Girl said...

Very true, very true, very true. I read that same information when the economy had first started it's deep plunge down.

Miss Lady Grey said...

Oh, I so totally agree with you! Buy local, and support the "little guys". I wish more people thought like that. I find that most people will shop at the big box stores just to save 5 cents on something. They don't realize the impact on the local economy. I'll have to look in my neighbourhood for a Business alliance similar to yours. Thanks for the inspiration!
PS -- I stumbled across your blog the other day, and I'm certain I'll be back!

Sandy said...

Alex, I guess most of us know this but forget when life gets so crazy.

Miss Lady Grey, thanks for stopping by! I hope you find a local business alliance. But if you don't, you can always start your own. There is a national grassroots org that helps.

Michele said...

We try to buy local as much as possible also. I love the farmers market. As a vegetarian it is like strapping on the ole feed bag.

Debbie said...

I love to buy local. I so fear the days of being able to do so are numbered, though.

Sandy said...

Debbie, I understand your fears but I think that it's up to us, the consumers, to demand it and to make it an option by continuing to support the local businesses. So many little guys get put out of business when a big box store comes into a town. And those stores give nothing back to the communities.


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