"So far as I can see, the idea of a local economy rests upon only two principles: neighborhood and subsistence.
In a viable neighborhood, neighbors ask themselves what they can do or provide for one another, and they find answers that they and their place can afford. This, and nothing else, is the practice of neighborhood. This practice must be, in part, charitable, but it must also be economic, and the economic part must be equitable.~ Wendell Berry

10 Good Reasons to Shop Local

1. Significantly more money re-circulates when money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms.

2. Non-profits receive an average of three times greater support from smaller locally owned business owners than they do from large businesses. The more people thrive, the better able they are to support those who cannot care for themselves.

3. Our local, one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of Whidbey Island's distinctive character. The unique character of our community is what brought us here and will keep us here. And that sentiment is shared by tourists as well.

4. Locally owned businesses usually make more local purchases requiring less transportation. They contribute less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

5. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and provide the most new jobs to local residents.

6. Local businesses are more responsive to the needs of their neighbors and customers. They often hire people with more specific product expertise, resulting in better customer service and higher product quality.

7. Local businesses are owned by people who live here, are less likely to leave, and are invested in the future of our community.

8. Competition and diversity leads to more consumer choices. Local businesses tend to select products based on their interests and the needs of their local customers, resulting in more product choices.

9. A growing body of economic research shows that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

10. Although shopping locally is more expensive initially, when the 9 items above are considered, that expense may exist only in the short run. The long range benefit of keeping dollars circulating locally should not be underestimated.

*inspired by Buying Local and the Circulating Dollar by John Amundsen

Senior Services of Island County Website