Why Buy Local?

By Joe Grafton, Executive Founding Director, Somerville Local First

In the next two editions of Somerville Scout, we’re going back to basics. You may hear about a variety of topics from Somerville Local First, but it never hurts to reiterate our essential case for buying local. So here are five reasons to buy local – and we’ll have five more in the next Scout.

  • Protect Local Character and Prosperity
    Somerville is unlike any city in the world. Buying from local independents, you help maintain our commercial diversity and distinctive flavor. What would Davis Square be without Poor Little Rich Girl or Diesel Café? It would be a lot less interesting.
  • Community Well-Being
    Local Independents fortify neighborhoods by linking neighbors and contributing to local causes. Entrepreneurs like Rob Gregory (Redbones) exemplify this, donating time, money and resources to build a stronger Somerville.
  • Local Decision Making
    Local ownership means that business decisions with community ramifications are made by people who live or work in the community – and who will feel the impacts of those decisions. Also, if you have an issue or concern, you can usually talk about it with the owner of the business, instead of a deputy who works for a large national entity. In other words: It’s not that tough to find Dave from Dave’s Fresh Pasta, if you need him.
  • Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
    Dollars spent with local independents have two-to-three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you help create and sustain jobs, fund more city services through the sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement, and promote community development. You are the active member of a truly participatory local economy.
  • Jobs and Wages
    Local independents create local jobs and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits. Moreover, if demand rises at a local independent, that independent can hire at a faster pace than a chain can. That’s because it simply takes less time to enact a hiring decision. At a local independent, new employees can begin tomorrow, without the need for human resources decisions to pass through red tape or a chain of command.

Next time, we’ll cover another five reasons to buy local. Meanwhile, we hope to see you at Harvest Fest on Saturday, October 3 from 1pm to 8pm at Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Avenue). This event is a great way to support the work of Somerville Local First and check out the amazing space that is Arts at the Armory. And of course, you’ll enjoy an incredible mix of local culinary delights. For more info, check out artsatthearmory.org.

Until then: Keep it local, keep it fresh.

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