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Weekly Tips

Weekly Tip: Buy local.

Locally owned companies frequently use suppliers and service providers in the area. All of the income is spent by local family members and employees. It's true that chain stores benefit the community as well, but more of their cash goes to distant suppliers, stockholders and staff at the headquarters.


Even if it isn't locally owned, buying things at any business within your town or city will help to preserve the area's employment rate and property tax revenue. This isn't the case when you order things online from distant companies, use national catalogs or travel many miles to shop. If any of the money returns to your community, it is only by chance.


Tips on How to Buy Local


1. Although there are many excellent reasons to support locally owned businesses, many people still go to chain stores because they want lower prices. However, you really can find some of the best deals at local shops. Look for retailers that sell secondhand, surplus or closeout items. Discount beverage stores often beat the prices of grocery and drugstore chains as well.


2. Before driving to the nearest major city for a shopping trip, think about the real expense of travel. Some estimates indicate that it actually costs over 60 cents per mile to drive a car. This includes maintenance, replacement, fuel, cleaning and other expenses. A 35-mile round trip to the state capital may cost you $21 in the long run. It also increases the risk of an auto accident.


3. Unlike big chains, small companies can't always afford to send coupons in the mail. This doesn't mean that such discounts don't exist. Remember to look for local coupons in menus, bulletin boards, free community newsletters, laundromats, waiting rooms and the town newspaper. They might reduce prices so that they're less than or equal to what a national company charges.


It's true that you may not always find every product or service that you need at a locally owned business. Nonetheless, local firms usually provide the best deals if you look at the big picture and evaluate the actual cost of each item. When you choose to buy local, it combines greater convenience, attentive service and unique offerings with important economic and environmental benefits.

on Fri, 2015-04-03 10:58