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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Staff Editorial

Go local if you can, because its good for you

Venturing outside of the Loop will greet a traveler with scenic views of strip malls filled with TGI Fridays, Starbucks and Walmarts. These institutions are suburb staples and while convenient and cheap, they are neighborhood killers.

For every dollar spent at non-local chain stores, only 15 cents of that goes back into the community, compared to the 45 cents that gets put back into the local economy when that same dollar is spent on local products or at local vendors.

In a Time magazine piece, New Economics Foundation researcher David Boyle said that “Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going.”

Keeping that money flowing locally creates a multiplier effect as that money is reinvested in local advertising, wages, overheard costs, etc. If that money is then spent locally, it just keeps that money changing hands and is continuously being cycled so that more people use it.

When that money is spent at big box stores or online, Boyles says that the money leaves the community and “it flows out, like a wound.”

Buying locally is also a better choice for the environment. According to a study done by the Leopold Center, 16 crops grown in Iowa will travel an average of 1,494 miles before reaching their supermarket chain destination. Food bought from local growers travels only an average of 56 miles. Also, food is fresher when it spends less time on a truck and can make it quicker from your fork to your mouth.

Houston is a unique city with its sprawl of individual neighborhoods, local stores, restaurants and hangouts that helps give those areas their character.

Organizations like Go Local Houston offer Houstonians discounts at all sorts of local businesses from restaurants and clothing outfitters to optometrists and car dealers.

Houston offers plenty of great alternatives to the vanilla strip centers and big box stores of the suburbs. Let’s invest in our community and keep Houston local.

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