Although the time frames vary from place to place, Buy Local challenges are a hip new trend communities everywhere are rallying around.
In Worcester County, some members of the community have launched a grassroots “Buy Local” challenge to encourage people to buy fresh food from local farmers and growers rather than grocery stores where products are trucked in from points far and wide.
It’s a worthwhile challenge that has reportedly led to dozens of households averting their usual practices and at least making efforts to support area farmers and community stores or at least think about what they buy differently.
While most of the organized campaigns primarily deal with food, the “buy local” effort is about so much more. It’s a lifestyle and should be a consideration we think about with every purchase.
For instance, we at the paper found ourselves in an interesting predicament this week.
Due to an internal communication breakdown, daily operations were put in a pickle when we ran out of toner for a production department printer.
When we tried to order a replacement from our national distributor, we learned it would be a couple days. Instead, our office manager got on the phone and sought local, more immediate help from a vendor in Salisbury. Long story made short, we had our toner within 24 hours, thanks to the local company’s commitment to service. We kept our dollars local, and we probably should have been doing it all along.
Households and companies everywhere should be looking at their expenditures and determining whether they can alter their buys to ensure their dollars stay local. In some cases, it may not be financially fruitful and that’s a decision that needs to be made on a personal level. However, there are other times when it will make sense to go local.
Keeping our dollars local should be a focus for all of us. Studies show nearly three quarters of the money spent at locally-owned stores stay in the community, while only 30 percent is retained in the community at franchises or corporate-owned businesses.
Instead of getting your vehicle’s oil changed at a franchise, which may or may not be locally owned, give a local, independent business a chance.
Rather than buying your hardware at the local big box store, consider your local stores and decide if spending a little bit more is something you can stomach.
Look to your local surf shops for back-to-school shopping this month, rather than pointing and clicking on the computer.
Use local building contractors who employ area residents when possible over out-of-state folks who tell you everything you want to hear without any roots in our community.
Get your family’s haircuts at salons opened by local citizens and property owners, rather than heading to other places owned by those with no stake in the community.
Spend your ad dollars with locally-owned media outlets, rather than helping support conglomerates whose priorities and commitments are elsewhere (shameless plug, our apologies).
There are considerations and options available for all of us, and the right thing to do is to spend our locally-made money in the communities in which we live. It’s a focus we should all keep in mind when possible.