Often people ask me about why it's important to shop locally. There are so many reasons to shop locally, that sometimes I'm overwhelmed trying to from a complete and full-picture answer, so I thought I'd take a few moments this morning to put all of my thoughts and feelings about shopping locally into words.
“Going local means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.” – Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.
Here are some of my values that I choose to vote for with my dollar:
#1 - I don't shop with companies like Amazon, because I don't believe that one man should make $321 million per day while others only make $58 per day. To me, this inequity is not the foundation of the country I want to build, or the 'better tomorrow' that I want to create. When I spend my money at a plethora of small local businesses in my community, I am actively contributing to the distribution of wealth. This allows me to feel good because I am living in alignment with my core values.
#2 - I am enamored with entrepreneurship. The fact that someone, anyone, can open a small business doing what they love and make a living doing it is delightful. I believe we need more passion in this world - more people doing what they love to do. This is why I spend my money locally - to support someone's dream, someone's passion. I think that when more people do the things they love to do that it creates a better world for all of us.
#4 - Being a good steward of our planet and resources. When I spend my money locally, I feel good because I know that local businesses make more local purchases, not only does this continue to help the local economy, but less transportation is required. In turn, I'm contributing less to pollution, traffic congestion, habitat loss and resource depletion.
#5 - We need each other. I believe that connection matters to our health and wellness. I believe that we can not thrive alone. All of the tiny human interactions in a day impact the people that we are. The way someone greets you, a smile from a clerk at the market, shared laughter, a joke, a story, a meeting of eyes - it ALL MATTERS. When we shop local we build local connections, which in turn builds our inner sense of wellbeing, and well as the fostering that same wellbeing in the community. Shopping local is good for our heatlh.
Written by Mindy Amita Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA.
Long-time entrepreneur and previous business coach, Mindy brings years of expertise to the Downtown Bend Business Association, where she's been in service to the Downtown Bend community since 2015.
In her free time, Mindy loves long backpacking adventures, challenging mountaineering trips, playing board games with friends, listening to live music, competing in bar trivia, and like any good Bendite - drinking craft beer.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the DBBA.