We’ve been in business for 20 years. We’re locally owned and locally operated, and we love where we live. As a result, we believe in supporting the people who call Portland home as much as possible. The best part? Most of Portland believes that a “shop local” attitude is important as well. Our economy supports local business and the entire community reaps the benefit. In fact, most of the businesses we serve are locally based. Below, we’ve listed a few reasons that we believe in this model so much!
Why is “shop local” such a big deal?
When we shop local, our money stays local.
We could spend all our money at big box stores, but that means all the profits and reinvestment of funds leaves our community. When we buy local, we are investing in our neighbors. We’re supporting their livelihoods, and then they in turn are able to reinvest that money here in the community. Local businesses also donate more per sales dollar to local non-profits than their national counterparts. And when we invest and support local businesses, our local tax base grows, which means better schools, better transportation, and better emergency services.
Our community becomes closer-knit.
When you buy from a local business, you build a connection with someone who is invested in that relationship going well. A small business owner’s reputation hangs on your experience, so they work hard to make to give you the best experience possible. They want you to love the interaction and gain so much satisfaction with the results that you’ll tell your friends and family about your experience. When you see your choices helping someone in a tangible way and making a difference in your immediate community, the more you’ll want to return. You get to know them, they get to know you, and everyone reaps the reward. Because these local business owners invest in their community’s future, they’re far less likely to leave.
Our environment stays cleaner.
When we buy local, we’re reducing travel time and the resulting pollution. Additionally, locally owned businesses tend purchase more locally-sourced supplies and product, which reduces the need for long-haul trucking. This in turn means less urban sprawl, less congestion on the roads, less local habitat lost, and less overall pollution.
We all stay healthier.
Local farmers provide fresher, more nutritious food. When we support local artisans, we make strong vote for diversity, quality, and choice. This is something we intrinsically lose when we shop national chains. Local businesses tend to have more knowledge of the products they’re selling. This allows all of us to make better, more well-informed choices. Last, when we build relationships as we do these things, we stay stronger mentally and emotionally.
The culture becomes richer.
If we all chose to shop at national chain stores, our community has the potential to feel like any other community across the nation. When we shop at our local market, the corner diner, or our neighborhood coffee shop, we’re diving into a custom experience curated by a neighbor. This collection of unique experiences creates a unique, vibrant culture.
David Boyle, author and researcher with the New Economics Foundation, says that “Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going. When money is spent elsewhere — at big supermarkets, non-locally owned utilities and other services such as online retailers — it flows out, like a wound.“
His solution? “Buy local economies withstand economic downturns. It’s not about how much money you have, but how much you keep it circulating without letting it leak out.”
So the next time you’re tempted to make an online purchase or run into a big box store, pause for a moment and ask if you can buy anything on your list from a local business owner instead. Not only will we most likely benefit from a better quality product, our community will benefit because our well-earned money stays local and helps keep Portland unique.