It's a popular question these days. One I think we are all even more aware of due to the worsening economy. When I think back, to when did I first hear this popular refrain or more likely when did it actually start to creep into my subconcious mind, I've got to hand it to my dear old Dad. He has been in business for himself, in a region that is depressed in all ways, not just economically, and in a state that is heavily taxed and not too friendly toward small business, my whole life. ( 30 years )
He has always been a staunch supporter of local business and keeps it local as much as he can. Even though it pains him to see community members travel 60-100 miles away to buy a cheap lawn mower or trimmer from Walmart and Home Depot then bring it in to his shop for repairs. If he can get it local , he often will- even it means paying a higher price.
Why buy local? Local food tastes a whole lot better and is a heck of a lot fresher than food that has travelled from other states and even countries ( scary ). Buying locally keeps your hard earned money in your community and state. It isn't just savvy consumers that need to keep it local, it's also businesses and farmers themselves. Ask your local farmer where they buy their seeds, or grain, or get their equipment serviced. Think of how much money could be kept in circulation in your community if every resident vowed to spend just $10/week on a local product or service that they may have been tempted to purchase online or from a great distance in order to save a buck.In a small community like mine with just 2-3000 residents that would be an additional $20-$30,000 a week or $80,000 -$120,000 a month put right back into your county and state. You may even see new industry and growth spring up, if businesses decide to hire local contractors for their services or goods. Buying locally creates jobs, lessens enviromental emissions by sticking closer to home, and not burning fuel trucking in produce from 3,000 miles away just so we can eat fruit out of season. Hasn't anyone ever heard of seasonality? You know it tastes better in season, purchased or picked locally. Why not pick extra in season and can or freeze it, or how about just relishing the memory of how delicious those June strawberries were, and just waiting for that season to come around again.
Small changes really can make a big difference.