Why you should buy local
I posted an article a few days ago about some gift ideas I came across while perusing Amazon. After posting I got a few notes about why I was directing traffic to Amazon vs my favorite local joints. This got me thinking about three things 1) people actually read my stuff?!? 2) I should learn more about buying local and 3) I should make a list of my favorite local joints and share it with my audience
So, I did some research on the economic impact of buying local. I was surprised to learn some of the below and not surprised by a few others. Overall, the impact of buying local is felt within your community and across the globe so shopping locally is something more people should consider.
Why you should buy local
There are a ton of great websites out there that summarize why buying local is a great idea. I'll run through a few of those ideas and then add in a few of my own ideas regarding why you should shop local.
Typically less packaging
Most items sold locally don't need a ton of packaging because they aren't traveling nearly as far as something produced in another country and shipped here. The environmental impact is reduced dramatically when you buy local. As an FYI, the largest polluters in 2020 were Coca-Cola and Pepsi because of the plastic used in their products. I'm not saying to go out and buy locally made soda, but I am saying that plastics and product packaging are a huge polluter and if there are ways to avoid it while also supporting your local community then maybe we should reconsider some of our purchasing habits.
Reduced carbon emissions due to fewer vehicles on the road
The transportation of goods is a HUGE business, like $9.6 TRILLION dollars as of 2018. That is a lot of energy used in the movement of goods. That means a lot of gasoline burned and greenhouse gases emitted. Shopping local dramatically reduces the environmental impact of the global logistics industry. So, beyond just keeping money local, you are having a global impact every time you buy local.
Small businesses donate 250% more than national competitors
This is an afterthought for many people. It is also a stat that I was unaware of. Helping out those that need it within your community is just another one of those hidden benefits of buying local. Depending on the way that money is donated there are a wide array of benefits to a community including, building better culture and a more capable workforce.
Local job creation
The larger a local business can grow, the more jobs it will create. It's pretty simple. Let's say you live in a city of 100,000 people. Each of those individuals spends $500 per year on items that could have been purchased locally. That's $50,000,000 sent to who knows where vs spent on similar items that are locally made. That is an absolutely huge amount of money that could be kept within your community. If you want to turn that into jobs let's run through it. Let's say the average salary that is produced from that $50M is $50,000. For the employer, they will have additional costs per employee beyond their annual pay so it'll cost each employer about $100,000 per employee. With a little bit of math, that is an additional 500 jobs that pay, on average, $50,000 per year. That is a large infusion of good-paying jobs that can really lift up a community.
Now go out and find your favorite local joint. Buy a burger, buy a gift, or treat yourself to something nice. No matter your reason remember, that shopping locally has a global impact! Here are some of my favorite spots in Lincoln, NE.