Nearly everyone has heard some sort of booster-ism or seen a poster for regional and local products. Counties and states have even enacted protective labeling laws which are a part of the promotional campaign for regional merchandise. In every corner of this country you can find some unique product that is “Made In”.
Where we choose to spend our money is one of the great freedoms we have in this country and buying regional products directly relates to an economic benefit for a community. Regional goods are also easy on the environment.
Supporting local business in a region is also part of the campaign to help strengthen economies. Money that is spent at a local business functions in a circular fashion. Payroll, overhead and profits tend to stay in the community and support other stores and strengthen tax revenues. All somewhat sustainable.
There is another advertising initiative aimed at convincing consumers where they should spend their money. Manipulated by Madison Avenue the marketing across America has been successful. The results are evident. Downtown stores are abandoned as an entire generation has chosen to spend money supporting corporate chain stores supplied by multinational organizations. These types of business do not strengthen local economies and are essentially extractive of financial resources. Profits do not remain in the community breaking the cycle of sustainability. Sustainability is a balance of the needs of the environment, society and the economy. Madison Avenue will try to influence your decisions with fads and gimmicks but ask yourself if they are a friend of your town.
Healthy vibrant communities have this balance. In the past decade has the quality of life gotten better or worse in your town? Many small purchases combined can make a significant impact for a small local business. You have the freedom to choose. Make it a point to shop at locally owned stores. Next time along with that bag of chips why not stock up on a couple other items? Some of that hot sauce there, fresh produce and maybe a jar of Miss Tilleys blackberry preserve? With repetition and practice you can make it into a local habit.
I brought home some fresh baked bread, local grown tomatoes and smoked Marlin for dinner tonight that I picked up on the way home. My local habit.