BusinessWeek Notices “Shop Local” Trend

PattyCashShopsLocally.JPGJoey Robison, Marketing and Members Services Manager at Just Food Co-op, sent me a link to an article in BusinessWeek titled “To Beat Recession, Indies Launch Buy-Local Push“. I guess the long-time advocacy efforts are finally getting the attention of the main-stream press.

The piece noted that independent and locally-owned businesses have long argued that the decision to “shop local” keeps your money in Northfield. Recently however, some people are noticing that the strategy may help a community weather the worst impacts of the current downtown.

It’s noted that such campaigns typically have three elements. First, they educate consumer about the importance of independent businesses to a community’s vitality. Second, they collaboratively promote shopping at local, independent businesses. Third, they give independent businesses a voice in advocacy efforts.

For some people, the economic impacts of shopping locally are obvious. Local owners generally buy from local suppliers, hire local service providers, and invest in local organizations. The article cites the often-reference Austin, Texas study that documented a 45 cent reinvestment from local independents versus the 13 cent figure resulting from national chains. These statistics were also quoted by the student from Prairie Creek Community School in today’s Strib article.

Finally, the story mentions two good resources for such efforts, the American Independent Business Alliance and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. The piece concludes with a slide show of successful campaigns around the country.

Thanks to Joey for the article and Griff Wigley for the photo.