Be a Local Hero: Eat, Shop, & Be Local

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
With the recent flurry of holiday shopping that has occurred, you may have heard in the news to think twice about where you shop. The city of Reno created a page to support the locally-owned stores during this heavy shopping season. But why take the time to buy from a local business when everything is a click away these days or can all be gathered at a large retailer? Whether you’re shopping for electronics, clothes or even groceries, just about everything fathomable can be purchased online. Find out why buying local can be of a greater benefit to you and your community. 

Create More Job Opportunities

It might come as a shock but the largest U.S. employer is the small, local business owner. As of 2012, they employed 52% of all employees in the country and they also create roughly two out of every three jobs. Additionally, small businesses typically look for candidates who truly know about their products and services, therefore creating a better experience for the customer.

Not only do small business owners employ more people, but they also in turn will buy many of their own supplies locally, creating additional opportunities for the vendors that they purchase from.  

Invest in a Stronger Community

A local business is owned by those who live in the community and who are therefore more likely to stay. Because local owners are already invested in where they are, they tend to also look out for the community’s well-being and future.

Part of being a stronger community means staying healthy. Local business, being smaller, have less of a land foot print which enables them to be closer to town and in turns creates less traffic and pollution.

Finally, when you purchase locally, you are strengthening your community’s economy. On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores. (Data compiled from nine studies by Civic Economics, 2012:

Giving Back

We hear about the major retailers who donate millions every year to charities but when we look in our own backyard, we usually don’t ever see the benefits.

If you compare what small businesses donate per sales dollar, it is actually more than twice as much and their efforts are going to local non-profits, events, and teams.

Greater Nevada Credit Union for example, this year alone has volunteered more than 1,500 hours to organizations such as our local schools, the University of Nevada, Special Olympics Nevada, Relay for Life, Truckee Meadows Habitat for Humanity, Food for Thought, Nevada Humane Society, The Salvation Army, and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. GNCU has put on a number of fundraisers as well for various charities and teams, all going to the benefit of our Nevada communities.

Author of Going Local, Michael H Shuman, sums it up best: “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally-owned businesses, which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”