Bringing Community Sustainability to Life

Posted: May 9, 2013

Last week, guest Go Buy Local blogger Dr. Kelly Cain posted about the “Re-Localization of Community Economics” and the landscape of local commerce in the United States. While as a nation we celebrate the resurgence of the “American-made” concept, new ways small business and the community can champion buy local initiatives and the path to sustainability – as well as reap the benefits – continues to grow.

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The benefits of building a sustainable community isn’t a new idea, either. According to the website Grist, studies conducted as far back as 1946 suggest a strong correlation between communities that support smaller, locally-owned businesses and a better quality of life. In fact, from improved schools and parks to better street maintenance and sanitation services, more than 30 additional measures of well-being come with living in a town that supports area growers, entrepreneurs and civic organizations!

Creating Communities That Are Alive and Thriving

Your town is probably a lot more like you than you think! It’s a reflection of your personality to an extent…for example, if you love the water, chances are you live by a river or lake, if you’re an artist, you probably find yourself in a community that supports your creativity.

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More importantly, like us, our towns need “blood” to thrive. In this case, however, what keeps our communities ticking isn’t red, but green in the form of cash flow through local business. This means that when dollars are not spent locally, but actually leaving the community to the big box off of the highway or online, it isn’t just small business that feels the sting, but the entire town.

Giving those businesses the tools to keep those dollars is crucial to the healthy circulation of where you call home. With Go Buy Local, local “brick and mortar” businesses, producers and growers are empowered with the capabilities to compete head-to-head with outside influences…and much, much more!

Contributing to the “Triple Bottom Line”

Keeping and circulating dollars in the community through a buy local initiative is a great way to build community sustainability (one study from the New Economics Foundation estimated that buying local is twice as efficient to your economy than buying from outside) and naturally promotes a better environment, but there is still a third piece to the puzzle… 

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While the first two components deal primarily with the positive economic and environmental effects of buying local, the final angle of the triangle – commonly known as the “triple bottom line” – relates to the social impact of community sustainability. In a nutshell, what are you doing to build and improve the welfare across the community, from employees and local producers to schools and causes?

With Go Buy Local, community businesses and nonprofits have effectively “closed the loop” with services that not only provide residents and consumers with local deals, but deals “with a heart” that directly donate to area schools and causes.

A Group Effort

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If you’ve been following the Go Buy Local Blog (and if so, a big thank you!), we’ve stressed the importance of buy local initiatives supporting the businesses that are the backbone – and directly add to the complexion – of your town. But as importantly, just how imperative it is that we all work together so the entire community benefits from a strong economy!