Why buy from a small and local retailer or maker? Here are my thoughts:
- Because we want choices. A community filled with lots of small businesses is the best way to ensure diversity and innovation in our product choices. Rather than one centrally-located buyer deciding what the whole nation wants, a multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, will keep it interesting.
- Because local begets local. Capital circulates better and more freely throughout and within communities when all of its employees (including its highest-paid executives) earn and spend within the community. And local owners tend to give their business to other local businesses: things like printing, office supplies, and materials. Nationwide, 33.6% of the revenue spent at national chains gets reinvested into the local community, half of the 64.8% invested back into the local community by locally-owned businesses.*
- Because there is strength in diversity. Diversified local economies, made up of lots of local businesses, create local and regional resilience. When entire communities rely on only a few industries or chain stores, they are at major risk of failure when the business fails or decides to move offshore.
- Because it’s good for the environment. More local purchases requires less transportation and shipping, decreasing the carbon footprint per good traveled. And, to generalize a bit, small businesses tend to set up shop in neighborhoods and town or city centers as opposed to the big boxes developing on the fringe (which contribute to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution).
- Because we are unique. How would you like to visit a town, and the locals all recommend you go to the Olive Garden for dinner because there’s no good local restaurants? Time after time, guidebooks that recommend places to go and see in towns recommend the cool, unique, local businesses as an expression of the very character of the city.
Of course, we all know how reliant we are on out-of-town and out-of-nation goods and services to make up our lives, but what if we just shifted so that more of what we buy was local?
All of Walnut’s goods are made using local purchases and services, and we proud to be a small business representative of our fair town of Portland, Oregon.
But to support Walnut AND your local community, you can shop local by going to your local retailers carrying our goods – check out the full list on our Retailers page. And if you don’t see any near you, let us know which of your favorite local stores would be a good match for our products – or better yet, ask your favorite stores to carry our work! We’d love to set them up.
- Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy – TIME
- *Inhabitat Buy Local Infographic
- Local Business Benefits – Reclaim Democracy
- Why Local – Sustainable Connections