Q&A - December 2, 2016

Seems like there’s a “top ten” list for everything under the sun these days. Honestly, I believe you can search the internet on almost any subject and find a list of top ten reasons…, top ten favorite…, top ten most…, top ten best…, or top ten funniest… But come on, who doesn’t enjoy a good top ten list? I know I do!

This time of year, I’m fascinated by the news stories about the buying and spending habits of Christmas shoppers. Market watchers always pay close attention to fourth quarter spending and considered it one of the best indicators of the strength of the economy. For most of us who live in rural and small communities, the prosperity and survival of our small town merchants is always a concern. So this week, I wanted to relay a great top ten list that I saw online about shopping small.

Q: Why should I buy local?

Top 10 reasons why you should shop small!

  1. Buy Local - Support Yourself

    Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally-owned business, more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms -- continuing to strengthen the economic base of our local community.

  2. Support Community Groups

    Non-profit organizations receive on average 250% more support from smaller business owners.

  3. Keep Our Community Unique

    Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place.

  4. Reduce Environmental Impact

    Locally-owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation, and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.

  5. Create More Jobs

    Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally.

  6. Get Better Service

    Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.

  7. Invest In Community

    Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

  8. Put Your Taxes To Good Use

    Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services.

  9. Buy What You Want, Not What Someone Wants You To Buy

    A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

  10. Encourage Local Prosperity

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

Don’t to forget to buy local and please send more questions to osuit-president@okstate.edu.