And when we think of “local,” it can be a pretty broad geographic area…from Everett to Seattle, maybe even the Eastside depending on where we work or congregate. You probably wouldn’t think twice about driving 10-15 miles to have your taxes done or to visit the salon.
However, there is a strong community benefit to narrowing that focus of what you consider “local” closer to your immediate area. Specifically, if you reside in Edmonds, consider how your dollars spent right here in town at local independently-owned businesses have a positive effect for all of us.
- Money has a faster circulation and more of it stays right here in the community
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance conducted a study in Maine that found of $100 spent at an independent local business, $45 was then recirculated within the local community. Compare that to only $14 of $100 spent at big-box retailers or national chains.
In other words, a family dinner out at an independently-owned place like Taki Tiki actually does you more good than the same meal at a big chain (plus the nachos are way better).
- Spending hyper-locally boosts local employment
Every business — whether a storefront, eating establishment or office — has employees. And in our area of horrible traffic, reducing commute time is a big goal for many. It stands to reason that people who live in Edmonds would love to work in Edmonds, too. When we spend in Edmonds, we help our local businesses thrive and grow, which ultimately boosts local employment.
- The less distance you drive, the more you lessen your impact on the environment
From lowering vehicle emissions to reducing wear and tear on roadways, staying local has an impact. It may seem like a small thing, but if more people consciously drove less, the difference would be tremendous. Less traffic, less air pollution, even lower taxes with less demand on infrastructure = win/win/win.
- Enhanced relationships and a sense of community
One of the wonderful things about living in a place with a small-town feel is getting to know your neighbors. The friendly encounters that happen when you grab a latte at a place like Walnut Street Coffee or when you get to know the staff at Dayton Dental deepen the connection your feel to your community.
Additionally, independently-owned local businesses are twice as likely to invest in local charities, youth sports, and other fundraising endeavors over large chains.
These are just some of the ways we benefit by choosing to patronize our local independent business community. Every other month Ed! will share a new installment in the Live Local series.
For more information about the wide variety of businesses in downtown Edmonds, visit edmondsdowntown.org.
— By Kelsey Foster, on behalf of Ed!
Created by the Edmonds City Council in early 2013, the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!) is a focused, funded organization that supports and improves business conditions in Edmonds. With over 350 members, Ed! funds programs related to activities such as beautification, marketing, security, parking, clean-up or administration. For more information, we invite you to visit edmondsdowntown.org.
— Sponsored by the Edmonds Downtown Alliance