Buying local is among the best things we can do for the country, for ourselves and for the planet. It keeps more money circulating in the local economy. Local businesses employ people at better jobs and higher wages than big-box retailers. Buying locally grown or produced goods lowers your carbon footprint when items aren't imported from across the country or globe.
The Jackson Free Press has been advocating on this subject from the moment we began publication, launching a "Think Global, Shop Local" campaign nearly seven years ago. Our "Best of Jackson" party every January is one of the highlights of our year, and locally owned businesses proudly boast their winner's certificate(s) in places of honor. Jackpedia, our guide to everything Jackson, gives "Best of" a run for its money.
We think Jackson is worth talking aboutthe real Jackson, not the sensationalism about how "bad" things are. We believe that people who live and work in the city, who enthusiastically provide great products and who tell its positive stories, deserve our support. They've earned it, because they, like us, are dedicated to Jackson's growth. And that is the essence of the local movement: sustaining local businessesfrom farms to boutiquesthat keep people and money working in the community.
The concept is the antithesis of the "bigger is better" corporate mindset, which, by the way, has Americans using 25 percent of the Earth's resources with only 5 percent of the Earth's population. (Perhaps continuous growth is simply not sustainable, despite the Wall Street hype.)
ShopLocal.com, a corporate Web site with circulars from big-box retailers like Home Depot, would like to fool you into thinking that every business with a location in your neighborhood is local. They've concocted a silly hierarchy where monoliths like Wal-Mart are "national-local," while Rainbow Grocery is "hyper-local." It's a stupid marketing scam, and we believe Americans will see through it.
As marketer Seth Godin wrote in Fortune Small Business a few years ago, consumers are no dummies, despite being treated as such. "Sure, you can fool some people once or twice," he wrote, "but this is the key lesson of the new marketing: Once fooled, a person will never repeat your story to someone else." Except of course, to point out what a liar you are.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: support local people and businesses, or support Wall Street and its anonymous stockholders. If you're like most of us, the Street hasn't done you any favors lately. That makes the choice easy: Think Global, Shop Local!
hey, what happened with the Local List contest? Did you announce a winner?
They were supposed to draw while I was out of town. Let me see if they did. ShaWanda is at home with her sick son today, so we've missed each so far.