There’s a big movement across our country encouraging us to “shop local” and I hear it a lot on the North Fork. I’m a big supporter of this and it’s one of the reasons that I joined the boards of both the North Fork Chamber of Commerce and the North Fork Promotion Council.
Here are a few facts about shopping locally:
For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 stays in the local economy compared to only $43 if spent at a national chain.
Locally owned businesses contribute significantly more to local charities and fundraisers than do big box retailers.
Local retailers and distributors carry a higher percentage of locally made goods. This creates more jobs, leaves more money in our community and even helps the environment (less need for transportation means less congestion and pollution!).
It’s also important to note that “Shop Local” should not just be a mantra for retail brick and mortar shops but should include local service businesses too. For example, I recently heard that Greenport was updating their website and awarded the work to a web design company located up-Island. An organization that calls itself the “Business Improvement District” would have better served the community by giving the work to one of our many local designers and keeping the money on the North Fork.
Remember, investing in our local businesses is not just an investment in our neighbors but in all of us, and the long-term benefits will be significant. Buy local wine (and beer), shop at local farm stands and markets, buy your gifts at local shops, and use local service companies.