‘Buy Local’ Campaign A Worthwhile One

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‘Buy Local’ Campaign A
Worthwhile One

Some tourism campaigns
are long on pomp and circumstance and short on substance, but a current
promotion organized by the state is well timed and appropriate for our state
and these challenging times.

No matter the economy,
it’s always wise to support local businesses because their employees live here,
they pay local taxes, they support local families by providing jobs and they
keep their money in the community.

The Maryland Office of
Tourism’s “Buy Local” message is the theme of its July Maryland Spotlight
campaign, a monthly promotion that highlights the state’s “unique assets.” In a
prepared statement, Gov. Martin O’Malley explained the commitment of Maryland
resources to the campaign.

“When residents and
visitors experience our local resources, they are tapping in Maryland’s unique
assets. Buying local is making an investment in Maryland’s signature products,
attractions and events. The bounty of our land and water … is just the start of
what it means to buy local in Maryland,” he said.

Indeed, “buying local”
is much more than simply purchasing local fruit, produce, ice cream and
artwork, all focuses of the state’s well-intentioned campaign. It also means
thinking about all our purchases and understanding where our money goes when we
buy a product, whether it be gasoline, home improvement supplies or landscaping
materials. Some questions to consider before making a product buy: Is it
staying in the local community? Is it going to a corporate office elsewhere?
Will it ever find its way back to our area? Do you know who is benefiting from
your money?

With the economy slowly
showing signs of improving, cash flows of local households and businesses
should follow suit in time. We need to be aware of the impact our dollars could
have on the local economy, rather than a home company located time zones away.

According to a Time
magazine article, “The New Economics Foundation (NEF), an independent economic
think tank based in London, compared what happens when people buy produce at a
supermarket vs. a local farmer’s market or community supported agriculture (CSA)
program and found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks
bought locally. ‘That means those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of
keeping the local economy alive,’ says author and NEF researcher David Boyle.’”

Another topic discussed
in the Time article was velocity, which deals with the circulation of money.
The concept is when money is spent locally it quickly travels through more
hands and more people consequently have the benefit of the money and what has purchased.
It’s an interesting concept and one that deserves some thought.

Although the state’s
campaign targets July, “Buying Local” should be a way of life for all of us. At
a minimum, it’s a concept we should be familiar with and at least think about
when we are faced with decisions on when and how to purchase the products we
need or maybe simply desire.

 

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