What do you know about your local economy? We talk about supporting small businesses and buying products that are made here in the USA, but why does that come second to a sale on an imported good? Why do we have to have Small Business Saturday to remind us to support our local entrepreneurs? We talk about a floundering economy but we are so willing to give our money for goods and services rendered from foreign lands when we could so easily keep some of that money right here by shopping locally.
Now, before I get into trouble up here on my soap box, I have to say that I am not so high-and-mighty in my small-town Americanness that I would ever bash another country or culture. There is nothing inherently wrong with buying imported goods and it is not the purpose of this post to belittle anyone who chooses to shop at supermarket chains, but let me pose a scenario to you:
Let’s say you spend $40 per week at the supermarket of your choice on fresh fruits and vegetables. You get the things you like, many of which have been imported, and everyone in your family gets fed. Easy enough, right? Well what if you took your $40 to the local farmer’s market or produce stand? You got everything you wanted, you were going to buy it anyway, and the supermarket is not going to miss your $40 contribution to their bottom line, but that $40 can help to pay the rent cost for the person running the stall at the farmer’s market or the produce stand. When you go to the local hardware store and pay $2 more for the same brand tool or product that you would find at a larger home improvement store, you keep alive the dream that the proprietor had when they opened up shop in the first place. That money that you were going to spend anyway is not just money in their pockets like it is with the CEO’s of large corporations, it’s food on the table for their families just like it is for yours.
So I ask again, what do you know about your local economy? How many self-employed individuals work within 10 miles of you who would be honored to provide you with their goods and services? How many have you not even thought of or met yet? The next time you are given the opportunity to make your community a better, more-rounded place to live, please don’t hesitate to do so. Please buy small.