Feb 22, 2012

The Importance of Local Businesses

Giant, global companies seem to dominate the market these days. Huge companies sucking up all of the industry, leaving many of us here at home jobless while these corporations are taking advantage of those living in 3rd-world countries. As a consumer, how do you know that the products that you're buying were created ethically? Who had a hand in it's creation? Where are the materials from? Is the money you're spending on it flowing back into the American economy? Not many of us think about these things when we're in the middle of a purchase - or the beginning and end, for that matter. But these are VERY important questions that every single American should keep in mind...

As of recent, there has been buzz on the movement of 'Going Local'. What does this mean? Why should we? Why is it important?

Lorenzo DiSiena, 69, picks some lettuce in the Kentucky Garden in Ohio City in Cleveland. Photo:

'Going Local' means supporting local businesses, whether they are store or markets, local artisans, specialty shops, etc. 'Going Local' also means making sure the materials and products you buy are from the 'homeland', or NOT outsourced (think made in American, NOT made in China).

Superstores, chains and corporations displace just as many jobs as they 'claim' to create. They weed out smaller business making is very difficult for them to compete, causing them to go out of business. "The disappearance of local businesses leaves a social and economic void". Only you as a consumer can fill this void by buying local.

'Going Local' isn't just important on an economic level; local businesses "define our sense of place, but we often forget their survival depends on our patronage". This creates a sense of community that Walmart just CANNOT offer.

Supporting local business changes our thought-process as consumers: while prices may be slightly higher than at Walmart, you're insuring that your community is prosperous, you're keeping economic flow in the country, and you're implementing social change one purchase at a time. There's more of a personal connection to the product, which has a value that is priceless.

At Apoc, we bring you locally hand-crafted products, with reclaimed materials sourced from expired houses right here in Cleveland. By supporting your community, a little piece of it gets to go home with you.

Next time you're going to make a purchase, whether its groceries, jewelry or furniture, consider going local.

- TB

text sources from "Why Local Matters" by Jeff Milchen. www.homegrownelpaso.com

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