The West Liberty Buy Local Campaign is an initiative to create awareness with the community to help residents better understand how “Buying Locally” directly impacts not only the businesses within the community but also the community member themselves. By supporting local businesses, it creates revenue within our community that those same businesses in turn use to sponsor school and community events. It generates tax dollars that stay within our community and it keeps the businesses that provide goods we consume and love able to continue to do so. This campaign will help shed light on all of the goods and services that are provided right here in our town that often get overlooked or taken for granted.
Why Shopping Local Matters
When you have shopping to do, it’s tempting to take the easy route and head down to the mall – or easier still, just browse the Internet. Major chain stores and Internet retailers offer a huge selection, plus the convenience of one-stop shopping. On top of that, their prices often beat the local stores.
But keeping your dollars in your hometown has other advantages that are just as important as saving a few bucks, even if they’re not immediately obvious. Here are just several of the many benefits you can reap by shopping locally:
- A Stronger Economy. Local businesses hire local workers. In addition to staff for the stores, they hire local architects and contractors for building and remodeling, local accountants and insurance brokers to help them run the business, and local ad agencies to promote it. They’re also more likely than chain stores to carry goods that are locally produced, according to the American Independent Business Alliance. All these factors together create a “multiplier effect,” meaning that each dollar spent in a local store can bring as much as $3.50 into the local economy. By contrast, large chain stores tend to displace more local jobs than they create because they often drive local retailers out of business.
- A Closer Community. Shopping at local businesses gives neighbors a chance to connect with each other. It’s easier to get to know someone you see often at a local coffeehouse than someone you only wave to on your way in and out of your house. Knowing your neighbors makes it possible to exchange favors, such as pet-sitting or sharing tools.
- A Cleaner Environment. Having stores in your immediate neighborhood means you can leave your car parked and do your errands on foot or on a bicycle. Fewer cars on the road means less traffic, less noise, and less pollution. If you could make just one trip each week on foot you would reduce hundreds of miles on your car.
- Better Health. Running errands on foot is better for your health. It provides much-needed exercise that helps keep your weight under control, strengthens your heart, and prevents disease. A 2011 study published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society found that U .S. counties with thriving local businesses also have lower mortality rates, a slimmer population, and a lower incidence of diabetes.
- A Great Place to Live. The last factor is more difficult to measure than the others, but it’s just as important: Local businesses simply make your town a better, more interesting place to live. One suburban housing development looks much like another, but a town with thriving local businesses has a feel that’s all its own. Local eateries, bars, bookstores, food markets, pharmacies, and gift shops all combine to give a place its unique character.