Updated: Jun 25
Instead of buying products from superstores and national chains, consumers are being encouraged to consider purchasing food and other things from the communities in which they live. In addition to buying food from local farmers markets, consumers are looking to such local businesses as area craftspeople and antique dealers, for example, to keep their purchasing dollars within their own communities.
By supporting the local community, it is possible to get some benefits that may not be obtained when buying from a nationally recognized chain. Let’s look at some reasons for buying local.
Look After Your Family’s Health
You can enjoy a lot of health benefits when you buy your food locally. If you purchase fruits and vegetables from local farmers, you can ask them how it is grown and it becomes easier to know whether food is chemical-free. Besides fruits and vegetables, you can find meat, fresh eggs, and dairy products in most local markets as well. Unlike most supermarkets, farmers markets usually only sell produce that is seasonal, at the peak of its growing season. And the benefits of consuming raw honey can be ensured by buying locally also.
Improving the Local Economy
When products are bought from a local business, the money is usually retained within that community. It has been reported that 60%–70% of the money spent locally stays within that community. On the other hand, it is estimated that only 40% of the money spent on chain retailers stays in the community.
Local business owners often offer incentives to other local businesses to do business together. Conversely, chain retailer buying decisions are often done on a macro level, which usually leaves out local businesses.
Another example of this symbiosis can also be found in the insurance industry. Independent insurance agents within your community are well integrated into the community and motivated to connect you with better rates and coverage than a large-scale franchise would be. And a community-driven insurance broker will likely turn around and reinvest premium commissions back into the local economy, furthering the impact of buying insurance locally.
Decrease Fossil Fuels
If you purchase goods from local vendors, the product most likely has less distance to travel than if you purchase from national chains. So the price you pay probably reflects lower transportation costs. Another concern with longer travel distances is pollution caused by trains, ships, trucks, and planes. So buying from the local market can reduce the amount of fossil fuels being consumed.
Getting to Know the People Behind the Counter
Purchasing from the local market makes you aware of the people behind the counter. You are more likely to feel a connection to that local business than you are a national chain. The success of a local business can be a source of pride in the community. And if a local business is going through tough times, loyal local customers are likely to rally around to help them pull through.
The presence of a local owner provides locals with someone who knows their likes and dislikes. Therefore, they may able to offer you a customized product or alert you to when items you are interested in are back in stock. This improves the consumer’s buying experience. You are no longer just one of many passing through a register lane but a valued customer whose repeat business is appreciated.