Why buy locally?
Every time you spend money on goods or services, you have the opportunity to make a difference in your community and the world. When you spend your money at local businesses and buy locally-produced goods and services, you're choosing to reinvest in your community and helping to create a stronger local economy and healthier more sustainable world.
Strong local economies are essential to sustainable community development and the healthiest economies are those that connect economic development to meeting the communities' social and environmental needs. That's why "buying local" can make such a powerful difference—we are connecting our economic choices to our values and a vision of the kind of community we want to live in.
Ways Buying Local Makes a Sustainable Difference
GREATER ECONOMIC VITALITY
The money you spend in locally-owned stores re-circulates in the community for 2 to 3 times the economic impact of dollars spent at national retailers. (Studies show that locally-owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact—For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes back into the community and our tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store, only $14 comes back).
MORE AND BETTER JOBS
For every 2 jobs a national retailer brings to a community, 3 higher-wage jobs are lost due to local businesses closing. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
PROTECTING UNIQUE CULTURE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Local businesses uniquely reflect our local culture – buying local protects this diversity. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit. "When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace." ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
King County is the top 10% of the worst counties in the United State for air pollution. Locally-produced goods require less transportation. When you shop locally you are less likely to need to use your car to run your errands and will not need to drive as far when you do drive. Less driving means less air pollution. The Phinney-Greenwood Neighborhood is located in two of the area's most important watersheds: Green Lake and Piper Creek. Less driving in the neighborhood means less pollution run off into these important waterways.
FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
60% of all greenhouse gas admissions attributable to the City of Seattle are from road traffic. When you shop locally you are less likely to need to use your car to run your errands and will not need to drive as far when you do drive. This can help you reduce your personal impact on global warming.
REDUCE SPRAWL AND HABITAT LOSS
Big Box stores and other national retailers usually require large undeveloped land to accommodate their needs. Buying local means shopping closer to home, which means less sprawl and the resulting habitat loss. In just 2000 alone, 100 square miles of farmland and natural habitat were paved over or otherwise destroyed in the Pacific Northwest. That is an area 4.5 times as large as Manhattan.
LESS DEPENDENCY ON OIL
Locally-produced goods save on trucks and transportation. When you shop locally you are less likely to need to use your car to run your errands and will not need to drive as far when you do drive. Less driving mean less need for oil.
SUPPORT COMMUNITY GROUPS
Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller locally-owned business owners than they do from large businesses.
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY EXERCISE
When you shop in your neighborhood you have the option of walking and/or biking for the majority of your errands. 46% of Washington residents do not get enough exercise. Walking and biking burn calories, build muscle, and strengthen the cardiovascular systems.
BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE
Community-based businesses compete on being responsive to their customers' needs. As a result, local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
PUT YOUR TAXES TO GOOD USE
Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
Local economic decision-making builds social capacity and empowers the community.
A MORE CARING COMMUNITY
Meeting our needs within the community encourages us to care for our neighbors and the environment we share.
LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS INVEST IN COMMUNITY
Local businesses are owned by people who live locally and are more invested in the community's future.
COMPETITION AND DIVERSITY LEAD TO MORE CHOICES
A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based on the needs of their local customers and not on a national sales plan, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.