Shop Local

10 Reasons to Shop Local First in 2010

I found this graphic over at Local First, a site dedicated to the buy local philosophy for Western Michigan. The rules shown here apply to all communities though, and that is why I have decided on this Monday morning to re-post the article on my blog. I really believe in the shop local buy local concept. Over the weekend I had a discussion with a couple of friends about how the Country Club Plaza, one of America’s first true shopping centers, had gone from an area populated with locally owned unique shops, to an outdoor mall of chains, franchises, and generic national brands. These ten points show why going local is always better, and like I just said this is applicable in any community.

Top 10 Reasons To Shop Local First
1. Significantly More Money Re-circulates In Greater Grand Rapids.
When you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the Greater Grand Rapids tax base.
2. Non Profits Receive Greater Support.
Local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners.
3. Unique Businesses Create Character & Prosperity
The unique character of Grand Rapids is what brought us here and keeps us here. Our tourism businesses also benefit.
4. Environmental Impact Is Reduced.
Local businesses make more local purchases requiring less transportation and usually set up shop in town centers rather than on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
5. Most New Jobs Are Provided By Local Businesses.
Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally.
6. Customer Service Is Better.
Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service.
7. Local Business Owners Invest In Community.
Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
8. Public Benefits Far Outweigh Public Costs.
Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure and more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores.
9. Competition And Diversity Leads To More Consumer Choices.
A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. Investment In Greater Grand Rapids Is Encouraged.
A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.