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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Promoting Locally

by Amanda of Amanda Brooke

Having established a business from home several months ago I have become more aware of what services and support our local shire offers local businesses. As I am a big advocate of supporting local business I was quite 'chuffed' and proud, when I recently discovered just what support our shire does offer.

Although I am told these promotional tools are currently being upgraded I wanted to show you what is on offer. It is my hope that readers may like to share what their local shires are offering or share what support you show your local community.

We have a brochure that lists businesses that sell locally produced products and the outlets that support these locally produced products.

There are swing tags for producers to use on their products proudly displaying that their item is made/designed in the local area.

Local stores have stickers/posters to promote the support of local outlets and I have been given a logo to display on my website.

I believe it is important to support local communities by shopping locally. Not to mention that it is kinder on your hip pocket and cuts back on the miles that we spend collecting a product from afar. Local businesses cannot survive without the support of their community and shopping locally promotes community and creates jobs.

Have you thought about how your supporting your local community may be better for the environment too? By shopping in town we are encouraging spaces that are commuter friendly. People are more inclined to walk thus creating less there is a lot to it when you think about it!

There is something else to think about too. When you shop at a large department store there are so many many shops selling similar products that almost all look the same. When you have communities of small businesses generally they sell products that they are passionate about. Products they source for quality and uniqueness. If I am going to part with my money I would much prefer quality over mass produced, same-as-everyone-else type products!

I want my local community to thrive so that my children can enjoy the same culture we experience today. I am proud to live in the Baw Baw Shire and I hope you are proud to live where you are too.



Winter said...

Very cool. Much to think about. I usually stay within our city when shopping, but not my small community. You are right though..there is alot here. We have many new food markets popping up here and there, an art studio and a number of awesome family run resturaunts. I'm hoping to get a good commuter bike this coming spring (have to save up:) but in the mean time I will be looking more locally for what I get...I have been toying with the idea of starting a community corp for a while, something to revitalize and draw attention to our great little community from within. Perhaps this winter will prove good brainstorming, root laying ground..who knows. Much to chew on...thanks :)

Jinx in the Garden said...

I love how our town has concentrated on local businesses. I live in Austin, TX, here in the US, and we have a Go Local Card. It gives you a discount if you shop at a local business that accepts the card. Even one of our local grocery stores accepts the card! Plus, we have multiple farmers markets around Austin and the surrounding towns all week. You can get just about everything from soap to nuts. And oh, the soap is wonderful. All of them concentrate on making sure that all the people that sell at the markets are selling things produced locally. There has been more than one business kicked out of the markets for selling non-local produce. One of the restaurants in the area has even opened a week round farmers market! It's very nice because it is inside, so when we are sweltering at over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, we can have a nice lunch and then shop in comfort inside. I've lived here for about ten years, and when I first moved here, I noticed that it would be very easy to buy just about everything locally, from printing to jewelry. It's been wonderful to see the town and the people embrace and encourage buying local.

As well, Texas has a buy local promotion, and businesses that grow or make their products entirely in Texas can have the made in Texas logo on them.

With the droughts that we've been experiencing here, we've all become even more aware of buying local. The majority of us would rather keep our money locally and help support our neighbors than send it off to some total stranger that we've never met.

FoodMuster said...

I have to agree with you on this one. I love the concept of buying local produce when and where I can. I have to admit though, that feeding 4 kiddies and a busy husband, its not always easy to stick to local produce when going to the supermarket can be easier for me to buy in bulk etc. I do endeavour though, to purchase more local produce from farmer's markets and the like. Its also a really great atmosphere at the farmer's markets, and I have also bought direct from the farmers and that is a special feeling, speaking to them and talking about what they grow. The produce tastes so much better from the ground, rather than from a supermarket.

Jen said...

I live in Western Massachusetts, and we have a lot of support for locally made and grown products. An organization called Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) has been an instrument of change over the last 15+ years, both in educating buyers about the benefits of buying locally raised food, and in providing all kinds of resources to farmers, as well as restaurants or other retailers who want to source their food locally. Another great resource is through our local public school, which developed a local goods fundraiser. They put together a catalog of goods and services made in the two (tiny) towns that feed into our school, and make the catalog available through the school and in the wider community. We do a lot of christmas shopping through this catalog, which benefits both the school and the local businesses selling goods. The selection of goods available in this catalog makes it clear that even a tiny community can provide a huge proportion of the goods you might need to buy.