When possible, dedicate your business to local vendors when buying items, especially when you’re planning an event! These are probably items you don’t typically buy for your normal day-to-day, so expand your horizons and branch out to some local biz.
Find some great reasons here to dedicate your money back into your local economy. Some of my favorites include:
- You’re investing in your own community! Putting your dollars back into the area you live in helps for those business owners to stay in business, and helps their future. Your business is helping the area to prosper. Time Magazine tells their account of how buying local boosts the economy at this link.
- BETTER SERVICE! People employed at small businesses seem to love what they do, and have a connection to the product they are selling. Feel good knowing the person helping you with your product or service is happy to be there!
- Some of the most interesting products can be found at local shops. Check them out! Where I live, there are small shops in concentrated areas that offer the PERFECT gifts. If you’re looking for a gift for the person who has everything, try the local shops first.
- It creates more jobs for people in your area. As a teenager, I worked at a small pizza shop which had wonderful owners who taught me the value of customer service above all else. Then came in the money-making aspect. I learned so much from working from a company that didn’t have it all together right away, and felt inspired when they took some of my suggestions as just an employee. (Big businesses don’t seem to care as much!)
- FARMERS’ MARKETS – need I say more? Well, I will anyway! The produce at my local farmers’ markets is sometimes oddly shaped, but SO much more delicious than meat & produce bought at chain grocery stores. My boyfriend & I tried to go a few times in the summer and base our weekly recipes off of the produce available. How fun!!
I live near Louisville, and we have a great organization called the Louisville Independent Business Alliance, also known as Keep Louisville Weird, that helps to promote the small businesses in the area and offers promotions for local folks to buy local.
WANT TO SELL YOUR OWN PRODUCT OR SERVICE? Facebook is a GREAT tool to get started. I’ve bought from a few “online yard sales” on Facebook, and is wonderful to sell some items you are wanting to get rid of. Check out these groups in your area!