Buying locally strengthens sense of community among students

There has been a gradual increase over the past few years to buy locally made products.

More people are considering the benefits of buying locally rather than buying from familiar chains.

One of the co-presidents of Go Local, a community that supports and is supported by Local Independent Business, Patricia Lecy Davis, believes going local can help “strengthen our local economy because more money stays here and circulates 2-3 times more than if you spent the same dollar at a chain or big box entity.”

“You create relationships with the owners and employees that are much deeper and lasting than a nameless clerk in a store with generic items and huge parking lot,” Davis said.

There are other benefits to supporting local businesses.

On the Go Local website, they state, “the businesses you support in turn pay local workers, pay local taxes, use local services and contribute to the community in a variety of ways.”

Essentially, there is a direct profit for the community if people buy products more locally.

Despite these facts, society is cautious about going local mainly because of the unfamiliarity of local businesses.

One reason many people don’t support going local seems to be because of “convenience, price, sometimes limitation on choice and ignorance,” Davis said.

People are oblivious to the impact, which doesn’t make them stupid; it just means that people do not see the long-term benefits of going local.

It is much easier for people to go to a business they have previous experience with and have a sense of what the quality of the products produced will be.

There is much more hesitation when shopping at local stores.

Affordability is a huge issue for many people regarding buying locally versus buying at chains.

People who cannot afford going local can still help encourage people to buy locally.

Also, if more people start to support local businesses, prices will gradually start to decrease and more people will be able to reap the benefits from shopping locally.

In response to why students may not shop locally, Davis believes that students are hesitant to seek out options unfamiliar to them.

“Probably the reason students don’t do it more is that when you are away from home, you tend to seek out ‘familiar’, it’s easier and safer. They don’t have enough life experience to automatically look for nostalgia of a local biz that reminds them if their favorite spot from home,” Davis said.

There is a direct benefit to the community and people can form personal relationships with the people providing their food and clothing.

Shopping locally is just one way to positively impact your community and strengthen your connection to it.