The concept of shopping local is seemingly pretty simple: when you want or need a product you patronize a business owned by people who are a part of the community in which you live. You buy a new shirt at a Main Street boutique; you find the latest bestselling novel at an independent bookstore; you complete your latest home improvement project with supplies from a local hardware store; you have date night at a locally owned restaurant.
However to us, shopping local is a little more layered than that.
First, consuming goes beyond just consuming physical items.
Shopping local also includes using local services. Is your car insurance through a local broker? Have you gotten your mortgage from a local bank? Do you take your dog to a vet that has resisted a corporate buyout? Are you taking music lessons at a local school rather than online?
What’s more, where you spend your money matters, yes, but there are other forms of currency that are important as well: time, energy and attention.
Macro economic circumstances, corporate consolidation and cultural trends don’t just impact retail, restaurants and some service based businesses. They can have a negative impact on many other parts of a local community from media to the arts.
So, to us shopping local also includes things like attending an art opening put on by a local cultural organization or going to a free concert on the Village Green rather than staying at home to watch yet another episode of Game of Thrones. It means sharing information about local business on social media rather than the political meme of the day. And it includes reading, watching and listening to local media (without which our community would surely suffer), rather than only absorbing national news or listening to your Spotify playlists.
To Shop Local means to be much more intentional with where and how you spend your valuable resources; where you choose to put your money, time, energy and attention reflects your values, and it impacts the Cape Cod community in tangible and intangible ways.
This graphic we produced in collaboration with Claudia del Castillo reflects the many layers but also represents the bold support we know so many of you have for our local businesses – feel free to download and share! And make sure to mention what you love about shopping local or your favorite local businesses when you do!