Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why shopping local works

At Atkinsons' Valley Market today I ran into an acquaintance who was bemoaning a relatively higher price for a similar product carried at Albertson's. Normally I would have just given a generic commiseration, but I found myself throwing my support enthusiastically towards Atkinsons'.

I have always liked Atkinsons' selection, customer service, availability of charge accounts and support of community activities. Now, since reading David Korten's "When Corporations Rule the World and the Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community," I have realized that they are the perfect example of businesses we need in the Wood River Valley. They are a local business and a much better employer than most, offering multiple benefits to their employees, above and beyond just an hourly wage.

In a recent edition of the Mountain Express there was a very impressive bit of information I'd like to throw in here: "One dollar spent locally equals $10 to the community. When we think about strengthening the local economy, we often think about bringing in new jobs, but it is equally important that we think about where the money goes once it gets here."

Buying locally and supporting locally living business owners is perhaps the best way to support:

1) the viability of our wonderful community.

2) the necessary and beneficial move to more local economies and away from corporate businesses.

3) ourselves and our neighbors.

Instead of thinking of occasional higher prices as rip-offs, think of them as how you help support our local economy and keep our money circulating with much greater effect.

Pamela Plowman Weston


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