According to the Local First website: "Significantly more money recirculates in West Michigan when consumers choose to support our locally owned businesses. Unlike their national competition, locally owned businesses regularly purchase from other local retailers, manufacturers, service providers and farms. Supporting our locally owned businesses is critical in growing a strong West Michigan economy and tax base."
Other articles by the same author
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Normally the weekly Rapidian poll is designed to stand on its own: created for fun, to offer an idea for quiet consideration, or to encourage brief exchanges between fellow Rapidians.
This time though, I want to personally encourage everyone to use this week's poll and its commenting space to engage in conversation about what “Shop Local” means to you. The concept is spoken of frequently (and increasingly) to indicate a philosophical position or to punctuate a value system. But saying and doing are not always the same.
According to Local First, a 2008 Kent County survey determined that a mere 10% shift toward shopping at locally owned businesses would create 1600 new jobs and add $140 million in new local economic activity. But how do we best help that happen? We can start by better understanding where we are right now. I challenge you to join in conversation to paint a picture of how “Shop Local” plays out in your day-to-day life. Why or why not? What are the barriers to living up to the philosophy? Is it just a cute saying but impractical in the execution? Can it really be done? What would make it easier?
As a hyper-local platform, we want to not only host diverse perspectives, but also help illuminate ways to both strengthen our community and enrich our personal lives. Understanding how we can best support our local economy is surely a part of both.
The year’s biggest shopping season just around the corner. Before it begins, please answer the poll, and then take an extra minute to add your thoughts to the conversation.
Disclosure: The Community Media Center, parent organization of The Rapidian, is a member of Local First.
Publisher of The Rapidian and Executive Director of Community Media Center (parent organization of The Rapidian). Over 20 years in noncommercial media and technology. Proud wife, mom, part time artist, and general busybody. Loves local history, travel, flea markets and all things "foodie".
Reports on: General Rapidian news, op-eds, social media & communications strategy, community development, arts