Friday, December 25, 2009

Local Stores Buy Local, Build Support

Local Stores Buy Local, Build Support
December 24, 2009
Link to full article below

Let’s turn to the next chapter in the saga of malls vs. local merchants, and foreign-owned chain supermarkets vs. independent grocers. The underdogs with deep hometown roots are fighting back, and carving ways to convert the favorable local sentiment they enjoy into some cold, hard cash.

The burgeoning ‘buy local’ movement in food is one trend that smaller, independent food stores can turn in their favor. On one hand, they are likely to be more nimble, more familiar with the local supply chain (say, of produce growers), and more important to these suppliers. Also, consumers wanting to buy fresh and healthy enjoy the notion of foods brimming with nutrition because they’re right out of the ground. If these sources grow foods naturally or organically, that’s better still.

In Hardwick, Vermont, a remote town of 3,000, “businesspeople have focused on supplying more of the region’s local food needs by creating new markets for area farmers,” wrote The Christian Science Monitor, in a report on Michael Shuman’s book, The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Local Competition. “Entrepreneurs have built infrastructure to turn local soybeans into tofu, for instance, and to age cheese for area cheesemakers. Such enterprises, along with growing businesses in related trades, account for as many as 100 new jobs” in this area.

The effort is admirable also because it keeps revenues local, and refortifies the Main Street economy.

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