Shop Smarter, Not Harder: Shop Local

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Roxanne Thayer, Contributor

When was the last time you shopped locally? Many people don’t realize the benefits that it has on communities. 

Shopping locally not only has benefits for the business owners whose income depends on their buyers, but for the local economy as a whole.

A case study done in Austin, Texas showed that for every 100 dollars in consumer spending at a national bookstore positively impacted the local economy by only 13 dollars, but 100 dollars spent at local bookstores positively impacted the local economy by 45 dollars (three times what shopping nationally contributed.) This proves how the money you spend shopping locally has a much higher positive impact on the local economy versus shopping chain stores or big box stores that don’t have as much of an impact. 

Some may argue that people on the lower socioeconomic scale can’t really afford to buy locally because it is more expensive. But, if you support your local community, the community has more ways to help those who may need it, and local businesses will often make donations to those in need in their community. For example, states that have SNAP (a nutrition assistance program that helps those who may not have the resources they need for accessible food) allow users to put their SNAP benefits to local farmers’ markets in some areas. 

Furthermore, buying locally benefits the local economy in the sense that these local businesses provide jobs for community members. Not only are these new jobs, but they are stable ones. Having people work for these businesses who are community members keeps the character of the local culture that many people value. Also, local employment benefits the economy because it provides local community members the opportunity to make money, which they can then spend in their local community and give back. 

At the end of the day, shopping locally is a huge factor in providing for the local economy. The next time you walk into The Traveled Cup after school or run some errands at Rail City Market, know you are not only benefiting the business but your community.