ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Mom ‘n Pop – the Argument for Buying Local

with 3 comments

aka Kath - flickr.com

aka Kath - flickr.com

We’ve blogged before about the come-back of buy local campaigns, resulting much from the economic downturn.  Many communities have seen success in the efforts but more important is whether or not these campaigns have been able to augment behavior change in local consumers.  Locally spent dollars are essential to ensure thriving communities, especially in small towns like Ord, Arcadia, North Loup and Elyria.

The economic impact of local businesses, by and large, is much greater than that of box stores.  Think of it this way – you buy a washing machine from Brown’s here in Ord; they turn those retail dollars into local accounting, banking, service and trade work ffound here in Valley County.  Same goes for our local grocers, local pharmacies, local health care (wherever you choose to go), local building supplies, local outdoor outfitters, local car parts…you get the picture.  Buying from Sams Club in Grand Island doesn’t keep that money local nor does it support local services.

Businessweek has a great review on a new book, Big-Box Swindle by Stacey Mitchell that reaffirms our position on this issue(emphasis ours):

When local businesses decline, so do the ancillary services they use. Mitchell calls this the “local premium” a community pays for a superstore. Locally owned businesses spend more than twice as much as superstores on local newspapers, accountants, ad agencies, and the like. While small businesses spend that money in their own backyard, big retailers usually centralize spending.

Is this issue controversial?  Sure.  Can you get everything you need locally?  It’s possible.  If you enjoy the quality of life that your community provides for you, your retail dollars spent in the area go a *long* way in preserving that way of life.  If you like “always low prices” you’ll get the community you pay for.


Written by Caleb

June 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm

3 Responses

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  1. It is not uncommon to find a dozen or so families from Ord shopping in Grand Island on a Saturday morning. And that is just at one store on the North side of Grand Island. I would encourage our local vendors to figure out how to keep Ord’s payroll in Ord. A well planned out shopping trip to
    Grand Island will pay for itself from the savings that occurs.


    July 4, 2009 at 5:02 am

  2. I need to take objection here – I spent the last 10 years in Lincoln and when comparing my grocery bills between Ord and Lincoln? Barely a difference in Lincoln’s favor. Lump in travel to GI and it doesn’t make financial or civic sense. I shop at each local grocery store in Ord, too. Their prices are fair and what do we get from them? Corporate partners in numerous community events and charities.

    The question people need to ask themselves – what’s more important? 5% savings by going to GI or the investment into the future of their community? Utilitarian versus individualistic motivation.


    July 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm

  3. […] convinced?  We’ve blogged before on the impact of buying locally here, here, here and […]

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