8 Reasons to Buy Local

October 23, 2022

Isaac Byrd ’24

view of downtown Albion

Downtown Albion, Maggie Lanoue, Wiki Commons

You can protect human rights by rethinking what you buy. Shopping locally is one of the most important things you can do to advance human rights in your community. When you buy local food and items, you’re supporting human beings in your own community and helping them with their livelihoods  and not supporting a corporation that gleans millions of dollars from millions of people.

1. You support local businesses!

Independent businesses have suffered as a result of the pandemic. People struggled to stay afloat economically. The best way to support people and their businesses is to show interest and give financial support by purchasing from them. While it can be cheaper to order items from Amazon or to shop at Walmart, paying just a little more to support local business is significantly more ethical. Your money frequently stays in your own community. It supports business owners, employees, and future customers in their day-to-day lives instead of lining the pockets of a CEO or Board that makes decisions based on profit and not the interests of the customers and community.

2. Buying local creates jobs!

Local businesses are a major provider of jobs within your community. Shopping at local stores also increases the employment rates of local people. According to Sustainable Connections – a nonprofit organization that advocates for the support of local businesses – around 90% of net new jobs in the United States are due to local businesses hiring people in their communities.

3. Local businesses often have more quality, sustainably sourced goods!

Prioritize quality over quantity. Small businesses provide products that respond to the interests and values of their customers unlike larger chain stores that put most of their money towards brands based on advertising. You are more likely to find durable, more sustaining goods from local or independent businesses than you are from a major corporation that focuses on cheaper options. Paying a little extra for high quality goods is an excellent investment choice to make.

4. Shopping locally is more convenient for you!

Proximity is a major factor for a lot of people who want to do some shopping. It is more convenient to head downtown and get your groceries or a gift from your grandma from a local business than it is to travel half an hour to the nearest chain store. Plenty of independent shops also maintain a strong online presence where you can purchase goods and have them delivered directly to you.

5. Buying locally helps the environment!

Environmental impact has become a significant concern from many people. It is more important now than ever to make choices to buy and use products that were created using ethical practices. If you want to ensure the shopping you do is more sustainable, shopping from local stores that are transparent about their sustainability practices is one of the best things you can do. Additionally, the less time you spend driving all over your county, the more you reduce your carbon footprint. Purchasing from local businesses helps to reduce carbon emissions simply due to the fact that you aren’t traveling an extra twenty minutes to shop or go out to eat.

6. Shopping locally helps your community!

Not only does buying from small businesses financially support the business itself, it supports the broader local community and the local economy. When you purchase goods from a small business rather than a large chain store, more of that money goes back into the community’s infrastructure, transportation services, and educational institutions. Compared to large privatized corporations, independent businesses provide more donations to local events and nonprofits.

7. You make mindful purchases while getting good deals!

You are more likely to impulse buy when you go to a larger chain store than you are when you shop at a local business. Shopping locally means shopping consciously. In order to entice customers, small businesses often offer deals and sales on their items.

8. You are more likely to find something unique!

Local businesses have goods and services that you can’t find anywhere else. You are more likely to find tastes, designs, and styles that are one-of-a-king. The special places where we go out to eat, do some shopping, do activities and grab a quick coffee are what distinguishes communities from corporations. These places are what make communities feel like home.

Take Action!

Here is a list of small businesses within walking and driving distance of Albion College

Local business you can support in Albion, Michigan

Local businesses you can support in Jackson, Michigan

Local businesses you can support in Marshall, Michigan

Do you have a favorite small, local business in these communities that we missed? Use the contact us link so we can update this blog!

Isaac Byrd ’24 is a political science major and sociology minor at Albion College. They graduated from Marshall High School in 2020 and have lived in the city of Albion for the majority of their life. Isaac has a profound love for the community where they grew up. 

This blog represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of Albion College.