There are so many reasons why we are dedicated to buying local, we could not possibly list them all. But I can tell you each and everyone of them is a reason why we started LOCALMOTIV.
Our Answers to Why Local?
So let’s try and break it down.
First, there is the unparalleled shopping experience. This means that as localists, we appreciate all that local independent merchants have to offer. We love the process of finding our new favorite shops with unique products lovingly curated by the proprietors. And we wonder if the different choices empower us to express our own individuality. It’s a warming feeling when we walk into a local clothing boutique and the owner and staff all know us and our particular styles. They can actually help us when we need that dress for a certain party or that wardrobe refresh. Then we will leave confident and happy that we bought exactly what we needed. It’s also very comforting to know that local merchants source from local artists, makers, and craftspeople that are dedicated to their craft and quality.
For some of us, it makes us feel good to know that shopping local is better for our environment. And the cherry on top: Spending our money locally means more of every dollar is reinvested directly into our communities.
So there is a meaningful payoff when we spend our hard-earned money locally. We are rewarded with vibrant communities: More dynamic shops, quaint restaurants and coffee shops, tourists buzzing about, and more diversity.
For these reasons, and many, many more, we would rather just buy “our stuff” from someone we know. In some ways, I guess, we are voting with our wallets.
The Threats to Local
Yes, local is under attack. It is not “new news” to any of us. We could write on this subject forever but a recent Credit Suisse research report sums up the precarious environment perfectly: It predicts that that 8,600 bricks and mortar retailers will close their doors in 2017. This frightening trend is moving at an alarmingly accelerated pace. With online retailing continuing to grow by double digits, among other factors, local independent merchants need our help not only to thrive but to survive!
And it’s not just a threat to our local retailers. No, it’s a threat to all of us. Truly, we should all be concerned about this problem because it negatively impacts our beloved communities. Without diverse, local businesses thriving in our neighborhoods, our entire communities begin to erode. We have seen these patterns since the early 1970s as neighborhood after neighborhood has died a slow painful death with the onslaught of big box, national, and e-commerce retailers along with their low paying, employee crushing “job opportunities.” They operate for the benefit of profit to their shareholders.
We do not stand with the big retailers who just offer us “more of the same”. It’s no secret that heir data dictates what to sell us for the optimal profit margin and bottom line.
At this rate, I see a future dystopia where we get to shop on amazon for our stuff and amazon foods for our food. We might be lucky to have a chance to go to Walmart and then stop by Starbucks for a cup of coffee.
Oops, this turned out to a bit of a why local? manifesto…
My sincerest apologies for my manifesto and melodrama but these are some of the reasons why we created LOCALMOTIV. I think I went on a crazy journey from “accidental localist” to arrive at being an “activist localist.” Although I am not even sure how or when that happened.
But what I may have discovered on the trip is that we want more connection with our communities. Not less. And there is nothing better than participating in our community by doing what we love – shopping at local retailers.
As I always like to say, LOCALMOTIV is not just a business. It is our platform to make positive change – not only in our communities – but in all that we do.
In my upcoming blogs, I will be writing about Oakland, local neighborhoods and shops that exemplify those local experiences that we all crave.
No matter what your individual “motivs” are to shop locally, we sure hope that you will enjoy shopping on LOCALMOTIV.
Why do you like to shop local?
Before you go
For more on the importance of acting local, you may find this blog interesting. Click here.