Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shopping Local

This topic was recently covered both by Sinister and by Lefty.

I picked up the newest edition of the Seattle Weekly (for those Oklahoma folks, this is a circular very similar to the Gazette) and they had a bit on the subject as well that I thought I would share.

It wasn't so much an article as it did not have a specific author cites. It was more like an advertisement for the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.

Anyway, here are some of the more interesting things it had to say:

Investing in your Community
"You are investing in your community by supporting the businesses that exist there......Where we shop, where we eat and hang out - all of it makes this our home."

"For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes back into the community....For every $100 spent at a chain store, only $14 comes back."

Local Charities
"Non-profit organization receive an average of 250% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned business."

It seems distressing to me that more people do not support locally owned businesses.

To me, with restaurants for instance, it seems very easy to support a local Mexican, Italian, whatever, type food establishment over a chain restaurant. The food is usually better. The service is almost always better. The prices are almost always the same or less expensive. I can't see why someone would choose a large chain eatery over a local one.

With groceries store, it is not necessarily as easy as with restaurants to shop locally as the large franchise grocers have all but wiped out the little corner grocery stores. But they are still out there. If you are lucky you might even be able to find one that carries all of the items that you need.

Bookstores and Record stores. Also very easy to shop locally. If I remember correctly there are quite a few locally run bookstores in the Oklahoma City area and I also recall 3 or 4 locally run record shops. There might even be more. In the Seattle area, there are tons of locally run bookstores and record shops. So much in fact that in the case of record stores, there are practically no franchise style record stores. And the ones that are left can only be found in the shopping malls. And in the case of bookstores, I am actually a bit surprised that there are still Borders and Barnes and Noble stores in business. However, these stores also, you can just about only find in shopping malls.

However, with other types of shopping outlets, they are a bit hard to find anywhere these days. The Wal-Marts and Targets and Macy's of the country and essentially killed off any chance of shopping locally for items that you would come to these places to shop for. It is a sad day when you realize that there is a particular item that you really need but in order to purchase it, you HAVE to go to a chain store. No matter how much you hate them and how much you do not want to give them any of your money.

And I leave you with a final quote from the ad in the Weekly:
"We ask that you please take a minute to think about the enormous power of your consumer dollar."

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