Saturday, August 16, 2008

Think Local


There has been an effort to raise community awareness of local businesses in Willits, and the economic importance of spending dollars at these places, where the dollars will recirculate within the community at a much higher rate than is true of big "chain" stores. So, for example, when I buy ice cream at JD Redhouse or books at Leaves of Grass, no portion of that money goes off to pay dividends to corporate shareholders. When a local family makes a profit, they obviously are more likely to spend part of that money here. The boardroom giants in New York (or wherever) will not. The bumper sticker on this bike says "Think Local, Buy Local, Be Local".

22 comments:

Laurie said...

A big ole high five to you for this great post. One of the many reasons I love South Pas is that it has so many locally owned businesses. (And not a single GAP.)

Saretta said...

I like the way you cut off the front wheel. Good luck to your local businesses!

Isadora said...

Well said. Globalization may have been a good idea, but it will be the end of civilization as we knew it. :(

Nathalie said...

Very interesting sticker and thinking behind it. I support that.

But my first thought was for the great bike shadow on the pavement. I wish you had the bike in full. I find it graphically very appealing.

Bibi said...

Right on! I fully support local places, even if I have to pay a teeny bit higher price. That's why I go to the Market Blue, ha, ha. (My post today!)

Meead S. said...

Interesting photo and post. Where is your own bike?

Good message to "Think, buy and be local" as much as possible.

Snapper said...

Right on! My wife and I gladly pay a little more for the honour of shopping at mom 'n' pop businesses. We haven't set foot in a WalMart in years and have no intention of ever doing so again.

Dina said...

Oh yeah, right! Good explanation.

Carrie Hayes said...

Great blog very enjoyable, thanks for sharing!

Petrea said...

You won't get any argument from me. Pasadena's begun a campaign in this vein; recently the mayor reminded us to spend our dollars at locally-owned businesses. I don't mind a smallish chain if it's managed with conscience, but I'm with snapper on Wal-Mart. You won't catch me in one of those.

This is a nice shot, by the way.

USelaine said...

Laurie - It does feel good to get what you can from people you know. We don't have a World of Spirits, but we do have something called The Temple of the Arts, so maybe that comes close.

Saretta and Nathalie - I tried shooting this from a few different angles, and on a couple different days. But in the end, I chose this one for the blog because it directs attention to the sticker, and it is further emphasized by the greenery coming out of the storm drain (subliminal earth-friendly message), and I liked that the post was firmly rooted in the upper left corner. But I usually like to show "whole" objects whenever possible, just as my preference. Thank you for both those comments.

Isadora - I think globalization was just a pattern of finding the cheapest possible labor, and thereby concentrating as much profit in as few hands as possible. Now that fuel has become a speculative commodity, turning to local production and sensible consumption matter more than ever.

Bibi - I saw your Market Blue, and it looks like a cozy local hangout.

Meead - So far, I'd rather walk than ride a typical bike. The seats are just too uncomfortable - I object to the pommel! A tractor seat with a crotch cutaway would be ideal, but nobody makes them for bikes. I hope you'll remedy that when you get over here.

Snapper - That's the thing! People will drive miles and miles to a freeway exit retail complex of "big box" stores, just to save a handful of dollars for objects that won't last (and they don't need), and "food" loaded with spoil-proof shortening and corn syrup.

Dina - I think you already operate on a very local level, so no worries.

Carrie Hayes - Thanks for taking a peek! 8^)

Petrea - The whole chain concept has a certain breaking point for me. I like to know who owns a place and where they live. Starbucks and Costco have really stellar labor and trade practices. But when companies become merely assets to be mechanically evaluated and traded, everyone but a few financial elites become the losers. Look up "Laura Scudder" on Wikipedia for an example (Yay Ukiah!). So it's a matter of degrees for me. The closer to local I can get, as often as I can, the better. I don't take it to superstitious lengths (I hope).

Jules said...

I so agree but the trouble we have in Australia is that government services and banks etc are closing in rural areas so people have to travel to bigger centres and of course that is where they end up doing do their shopping!!!!


Off to the airport in a couple of hours and have left by blog in the capable hands of He-Who-Doesn't-Blog and the cat!!! Hope they do it properly - you just can't get good help these days!!!!

Louis la Vache said...

As Natalie wrote, the photo in itself is graphically appealing - very nice play of the shadow off the bike.

As to the sentiment on the bumper sticker: AMEN!
An often-forgotten reason for supporting the small, locally-owned business is these small businesses are the real generators of job growth.

Ming the Merciless said...

Great advice, Elaine.

I try to buy things locally, from my neighborhood and from small retailers. I believe in supporting the local business owners.

Cute bike photo!

Marylène said...

It is SOOOOOOO true !
Even here in France we start being overwhelmed by giant (French perspective) chain stores, malls, outlets .....
We're lucky though, all of them are not (yet) open 7/7 or even 24/24 like some food store I saw in the US.
Sunday is still (most of the time) a day when you don't shop.
Only small groceries, local producers or markets are opened,and on Sunday mornings only, where you can talk to the owners, shake their hand and ask for their health !
But I have to say, very sadly, that it is changing, people rush into malls as soon as they are opened on Sundays or some special holidays. It seems they don't know any more what else can be done on Sundays !
It is the first time I comment because it is not always easy to go through the language barrier and the difference of cultural background but I read it everyday and like very much your "eye" and point of vue of your home area. Thank you.

Kate said...

I like the bike and appreciate the slogan. Locally grown food DOES taste better. I love summers in MN because of the Farmers Mkt.

Virginia said...

Marylene said it very well I think. Wish my French was a good as her English! E., I echo everyone else's remarks about buying local. It's even more important these days I think. As for your bike. Love the way you shot it !

Eki Akhwan said...

This is a unique angle ... That shadow is an eye-catcher!

Chris said...

Ok. I posted to this before and it hasn't shown. Long story short: I agree that we need to try to buy local. We try to buy from local farmers. I appreciate the fact that a lot of my customers bought from me when I owned my store instead of buying from the internet or big box stores. . . .Not quite the same, but similar.

Also. . .noted that you mentioned having a clamshell purse on Ming's blog. I;m lost . . .What is a clamshell purse?

USelaine said...

Jules - Stay safe! You know, I haven't gotten to it properly yet, but we actually have a Bank of Willits. I hear it's highly ranked, as those things go. But I know the pressure is on everywhere.

Louis - Thank you! And I've heard the same thing about job creation being found in the bedrock of small business. If only we had single payer health care, none of them would be vulnerable to rapacious insurance schemes.

Marylène - Thank you so much for making the effort to comment here. You make a great point about the vital role of consumers to shape their own culture, and the importance of raising consciousness about where their money goes.

Kate and Virginia - Farmer's Markets, mom & pops, even local skill building of wool spinners and the like, are part of rebuilding the kind of economy that stays stable and minimizes transportation expenses.

Eki A. - Thank you! I find the naked mechanics of bicycles appealing too.

Chris - I just visited a local cattle ranch today, because I saw their booth selling beef at the farmers market. I look forward to buying more of their meat. The clamshell purse can be seen on the hotlink I put in my post for Ming. Just scroll down and you'll see them labeled "clamshell". It just refers to the shape.

Halcyon said...

ITA with this bike's sentiment! Even if it costs a bit mroe, I'd much rather give my money to a person/family instead of a corporation.

Hilda said...

I completely agree! When it comes to produce, I think most Filipinos can and do buy locally (regionally). But when it comes to manufactured goods, most products from large, foreign-owned corporations are so much cheaper. And for the average Filipino, cost is top priority. =(