Why Shift Your Shopping?

By Joe Grafton
Executive Founding Director, Somerville Local First

In the previous edition of Somerville Scout, we went back to basics. We reiterated our essential case for buying local with a list of five reasons to shift your shopping. Here are five more reasons to support local independents in our community.

  • Entrepreneurship
    The entrepreneurs behind locally owned and independent businesses are often neighbors. Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity. It also serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

  • Public Benefits and Costs
    A recent study in New Orleans showed that local independents produced twice the economic benefit per square foot compared to their non-local competitors. Moreover, local independents in town centers and squares put less of a drain on local infrastructure than do regional and national businesses.
  • Sustainability
    Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walk-able town centers and squares. In turn, the success of these squares helps to reduce sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss and air and water pollution.
  • Competition
    A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
  • 5. Product Diversity
    Small businesses are more likely to select their products and services based on the needs of local customers (rather than on some national sales plan). By extension, a multitude of small businesses is more likely to create a broader overall range of products and services – and prices – for the end consumer.

As we launch our first annual holiday campaign, Shift your Shopping, we hope you will make a concerted effort to support our local businesses this holiday season.

To find a list of approximately 400 local options, please go to shiftyourshopping.org.

And in the meantime, in between time: Keep it local, keep it fresh.

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