We live in a tightly-connected rural community, Floyd County, Virginia, where almost every one we meet is connected in some roundabout way to someone we know. The practice of buying locally affects us both as consumers and as local business owners.
As our income goes up and down, it changes ouy ability to buy things. If we have to cut back on our expenses, We try to cut back on the money we spend outside the local economy first.
We try to "buy local" whenever possible because those purchases help support the local economy. It seems like our purchasing dollars mean more to local businesses than they do to the Wal-Mart or mall stores in Christiansburg.
Here in Floyd, most local businesses go out of their way to make us feel appreciated and some offer "specials" with prices that match big box retailer prices.
In our custom framing business, we do the same. We are directly affected by the economic health of this area and we appreciate those who choose to spend their hard earned money with us. We strive to offer unique offerings and to provide customers with a memorable experience.
The "connectedness" of this rural community makes it possible for a small business to generate effective "word of mouth" advertising with every positive customer experience.
When we buy locally, our purchases serve as an affirmation that we, as consumers, are caring people deserving of special consideration. You might even think of this as "word of mouth" advertising on a personal reputation level.
To sum this up, buying locally increases the affinity within the local community and increases cooperative activity. This is always good news and is vital in an economic downturn.