Support Local BusinessCredit: istockphoto.comCredit: istockphoto.com
Ways You Can Help The Local Economy
When we all support our local economies, we help to keep more money within our towns and cities through employment, taxes and economic growth. If you're unsure of how to help boost your local economy, read on for ways that can not only help but, also make a big difference:
Support Local Business Shops such as hardware stores.
Many of the independently owned small businesses rely on our support for them to be able to stay in business. Many of your local hardware stores are owned and operated by your neighbors and have been in business for decades if not centuries of generation after generation. These types of stores are what help to make our neighborhoods unique and many of the owners will know your name and are most willing to assist in finding you the best product for your project or need at the best price.
Buy Locally from Farmer's Markets.
The best produce is typically locally grown and doesn't travel nearly as far as that which we find in supermarkets and large chain type stores. Many farmers will pick their crop one day and it's often on the shelf the same afternoon – it doesn't get any fresher than that unless you're growing it yourself! You'll be saving gas and transportation costs of goods that helps keep the air cleaner as well as helping to keep your neighbors employed.
Find places that set up farmer's markets in your town or city and share the knowledge with friends and family that may not be familiar with all that the local growers have to offer.
Buy fresh produce in bulk to save even more money and try canning recipes that will help you stock your pantry for much of the year as an added bonus to shopping at farmer's markets.
Bank Locally to help your Local Economy.
Choose a small local and independent bank or credit union to do all of your banking. Smaller banks and credit unions are more known for getting to know their customers financial situations, needs and desires and are usually more willing to assist in a time of financial difficulties or crises or to help you obtain a mortgage, line of credit, car loan or other loan. They are also more flexible and usually more understanding if you should fall on any hardship and will help you to defer loan payments. Credit unions are just as safe in protecting your money as a large bank and offer many member benefits for joining without the need for membership fees. When you bank locally, you are also helping more money to stay in your local neighborhood.
Shop at Local Boutiques and Jewelers
Local boutiques and jewelers are part of what makes each town and city unique when searching for purchases for yourself or as gifts. More handmade items are available in independently owned shops and boutiques rather than large department stores. These items are often one of a kind gifts that can't be found elsewhere. Boutique owners often search for items that are Made in USA as an added bonus . Local jewelers can hand make specially requested items for you as well as assist you in upgrading your jewelry or selling your gold for the best prices without having to ship your valuables to an unknown place.
Support your Local Restaurants
Local restaurants help to make each community a special and unique place offering a wide variety of food from various cultures. Local restaurants often support the local growers, vendors and manufacturers in your area too so that you not only help one business to stay afloat and prosper but, usually several. Local restaurants are also usually more apt to offer the freshest ingredients and seasonal items making dishes that are unique, tasty and difficult to find at the chain restaurants. Local restaurants also compete with clubs and chain restaurants so you help your local economy by supporting them with your routine business and encourage other businesses to start up in your neighborhood increasing jobs.
Shop at Local Bookstores
Local bookstores are owned by independent business people and offer the same services and books that the larger chains do. Many of the smaller bookstores even offer a coffee shop, reading nooks, fireplace, poetry readings, author signings, magazines, cards and are able to order any book you would like if it happens to be out of stock.
Shop and Browse Local Art Galleries
Local artists display their works in local art galleries and often you will find wine tastings, meet and greet events to meet the artists and even art classes for those interesting in learning the craft.
Shop at Local Craft Shows and Festivals
Local craftsmen offer a plethora of good and gifts that simply cannot be found in larger stores. Every town and city provides unique items at craft shows and festivals throughout the year that often utilize resources around your own area such as beach glass, copper, metals, stone and other reusable items that not only help the local economy but, also reduce waste by recycling items that often times get thrown away. Many people search for Made in USA items and these are right in your own back yard by your friends and neighbors.
Utilize your Neighborhood Assets
Each and every town and city across America offers something unique in the way of museums, parks, resorts and mini vacations can be utilized to see the sights in your neighborhood that you may not attend often. Stay at a local bed and breakast for a weekend getaway and learn more about where you live. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much is right in your own backyard that supports your local economy.
These are just some of the ways that you can make a difference and help your local economy at the same time. Use these and find other ways to shop around your own neighborhood and you will find that small changes that each of us make will make a great change and difference.