Friday, November 7, 2008

Shop Local, Create Jobs

A new study in Grand Rapids confirms what the JXN Local First campaign has been saying. Shop local and you will CREATE JOBS.

According to Civic Economics, an economic research firm, just a 10% shift in shopping from national chains to local businesses would create 1600 jobs in Grand Rapids and an economic impact of $137 million. (see the whole story at http://www.retailers.com/news/retailers/08oct/mr1008shoplocally.html)

Often, I hear the complaint, "but Phil, shopping local is expensive."

Let's look at it another way.

If shifting your dollars from big chains to local stores creates jobs, then the opposite must be true. The more you spend at the national chains, the more jobs are lost. Now that would be expensive. (More unemployment, more welfare, more tax dollars used up, etc., etc.)

There is a high price to low cost - it's called jobs. Your friends' jobs, your family's jobs, maybe even your own job.

Yet, by shopping local just one more time out of the next ten times you shop can make a significant impact on your local economy. If it can create 1600 jobs for Grand Rapids, what would it do for Jackson, or wherever you live?

Will it be more expensive? Maybe not. Many people tell me we are quite comparably priced on many items. I find the same is true with some of the other local businesses where I shop. More importantly, I find more unique items that make the gifts I give more special.

And as my previous post mentions, it isn't about price - it's about value.

Think about it next time you're in the market for something. Give your local store a try and we'll see if we can change this economy on our own. (For a list of JXN Local First members - go to http://www.jxnlocalfirst.com/)

-Phil

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