Local Resolutions Part 23 of 29

This is the twenty-third in a series of 29 ways to help your local community online in 2010. If you missed it, you may wish to read the introductory post.

In this post, I suggest that influencing others to buy local is a great way to help strengthen your community while you’re online. This series has included recent posts about making a list, leaving comments on local blogs, and reviewing local restaurants and service providers.

Most of the suggestions in this series have involved things you can do directly yourself. Today’s resolution is to affect other people’s behavior.

Inspire others to buy local.

There are many ways to do this. Perhaps the most effective is to set an example. Every time I see that people are hitting up central market on Saturday, it makes me want to go. Geolocation apps makes it easier than ever to share with others what local businesses you’re patronizing. It’s not bragging or being silly, so don’t be shy.

Another way is to support movements and organizations that advocate for our local economy. Think of Lancaster Buy Fresh Buy Local, the 3/50 Project, and Main Street Mount Joy as examples.

Then there is offering recommendations to others when they’re looking to make a purchase. (The reverse of this, asking for recommendations, is great, too.) If I share on Twitter or Facebook that I’m looking to make a home-improvement purchase, it’s great if you can point me to a destination more locally committed than Lowe’s. If I’m updating my wardrobe, you can help keep me away from the mall.

A final way you can inspire others to buy local is to explore a local place and share about it. We Are Lancaster has been great at this, as in Ben Leech’s piece on P.J. Bar. Many times when a new place is profiled, commenters share that they’ve been wanting to check out that place forever, but have never made it in. Chain stores have the advantage of being known quantities. Letting others know what a one-of-a-kind place is like makes lowers the barrier to entry.

What other ways do people you know inspire you to buy local?

One thought on “Inspire others to buy local

  1. I shop Lititz, which has amazing opportunities for everything from groceries to furniture. We also have a great independent bookstore, lucky us, Aaron’s Books. It saves gas, keeps the money in the community, not back to some corporate giant’s HQ, and it keeps main street from becoming a bunch of boarded up closed shops. When we are away from home, we always look for independents when deciding where to stop and shop. Oh, one last plug, second Friday in Lititz in Feb is the Fire and Ice Festival, come shop and have fun!

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