WE HEAR the phrase "buy local” often, yet do we ever really think about what it means?
Buying local is so much more than shopping at a local business; it is about keeping jobs in our communities, supporting our youth and elderly; living a healthier lifestyle and building strong, vibrant, communities.
You may be asking yourself "Why should I Buy Local?”, Here is the view from the new GCCI administration officer Ashlee Philips and her top 10 good reasons to spend your money locally:
Local Economic Stimulus
When you purchase from locally-owned businesses more money is kept in the local community as locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, and trades and service providers. Therefore, spending your money at local businesses supports other local business which in turn stimulates the local economy.
Local Businesses Support Your Lifestyle
Anyone who has helped raise funds for a school or charitable organisation knows that it is significantly easier to source donations from locally owned businesses. When locally owned businesses donate to local charities, it is unnecessary to get approval from a head office in a capital city.
The Majority of Jobs in Australia Are Provided by Local Businesses
Small local businesses are the largest employers in Australia, so supporting a local business helps to both retain and grow jobs in your community.
Unique Businesses Create Character And Prosperity
The unique character of your local community is defined largely by the presence of local businesses. The distinctiveness of your local community increases the overall satisfaction with where you live and the value of your home and property. Furthermore, having unique and interesting businesses in Gladstone and the surrounding region will enhance tourism in the region.
Customer Service Is Better
Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise which leads to better customer service. Therefore, local businesses are often able to specialise in products and services that are valued by the local community.
Local Business Owners Invest In Your Community
Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, so are less likely to leave, and are more committed to the community's welfare and future. They have a direct commitment to you as they rely on your support.
"Buy Local”- you see the decal in the store window, the sign at the local markets and the bright, cheerful logos for the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Buy Local Campaign.
The stirring message is "let's support local business”, a form of community boosterism. But buying close to home is more than a feel-good, it's worth paying more for local matter. Keeping money in the community has a profound economic impact as the fate of the communities around the region increasingly depend on it.
Let's look at the definition of buying local. It is buying something from a business in your area that is owned by a member of the community who has decision making control over the business and business operations. These businesses are owned and/or managed by people who live and work in our communities; raising their families and investing in our communities' futures. They support our churches, schools, organisations and increase our quality of life; thus, improving the health of our communities overall.
At the most basic level, when you buy local more money stays in the community.
It sounds nice to buy local and support local businesses, but the fact is when you buy local you are supporting yourself.
Local business people live in our communities. They spend a fair amount of their profits from their business in the local communities, fuelling the engine of economic growth, providing a strong dynamic business community as well as prosperous industry.
It is crucial to support our economy and buying from our local businesses is one great way to do this. When you buy local you bring back to the community and shopping locally can be extremely rewarding. You connect with people around you, and socially and financially benefit our community.
Well said Ashlee, so please think carefully where you do and how you do your shopping and remember if you do find a bargain from out of town just take your time and give the local guy a go by asking for a better deal or ask to make the local deal better I have found nine times out of 10 they will always try to match the price. Hope you enjoy your local shopping spree and remember there is only nine more sleeps until Christmas and let's not forget the Boxing Day sales straight after and remember to shop within your means.
Michael J. Bailey can be heard weekdays from 5am on your station 4CC.