The term “buy local” has become a pretty big trend in recent years. This is partly fueled by frustration over how gigantic conglomerates seem to control so much of the economy. Walmart has made the Walton family extremely rich, but every time it enters a new market, it kills most of the small grocery stores and retailers in the area. That means people who live in that town often have no choice but to shop at Walmart, and the cycle kind of self-perpetuates. Amazon has a better reputation in general, and Amazon is about the only competitor that can best Walmart as far as online retail goes, but even Amazon has its own issues. Amazon gets bigger, and other online retailers get smaller. Both retailers get flack for carrying a lot of items made in China or other countries. Many companies have decided it’s just not worth it to manufacture items right here in the United States, especially since it could make shareholders angry that they’re not maximizing profits. Locally owned shops probably won’t be filled with items that are only produced domestically, since some international manufacturing is hard to avoid, and there are definite advantages to free trade. We just want a level playing field, and if you shop at a locally owned store, you’re doing your part to try and make the market more fair.
Cost versus country of origin
You also have to pick your battles. Unless you’re extremely rich and have a lot of free time on your hands, you’re probably not going to be able to buy local every single time. That’s understandable. Focus on certain things that are especially important to you. That might mean deciding you want your bedroom to only have items that are either locally sold or made in America. Maybe you’ll get a mattress from your local mattress shop and go online to find sheets made in the USA.
But there will be times when it’s late, you’ve had a long day at work, and you’re out of groceries. You could go to the grocery store and try to only buy food items made in the USA, or you could just swing by the drive-thru with the golden arches and get a hamburger. Plenty of people will do the latter and vow to go grocery shopping the next day. Don’t feel too bad about it; you’re still making an effort
Are you in northern New Jersey? Did your furnace just go out? While you’re looking for Jersey City, NJ residential heating repair services, make sure to seek out locally-owned companies rather than big chains. That’s also true if you’re getting your teeth cleaned or getting a new look at the beauty salon. Banking is a huge, essential service, so if at all possible, look for a local bank or credit union. Getting serviced at locally or regionally owned businesses does more than just make you feel good; it’s pumps more money back into the local economy than going to a big brand name would. It’s easy to complain about our lack of options, but we have to put our money where our mouth is and give local places a chance sometimes. So next time you and your spouse are looking for a romantic dinner, suggest heading to the local Italian bistro rather than a place like The Olive Garden. You may pay a little more, but you’ll get fresher, better food.