At Love Live Local, our mantra is “think local first.” The concept is pretty simple. When you find yourself in the market for your wants and needs, think about where you can buy it from a locally owned business (either in person or online), first. If you are searching for new outdoor furniture, peruse a home store that is headquartered here on Cape Cod. When you want to spice up your wardrobe with a new summer dress, get in the dressing room at a local boutique. If you need car insurance, call a local agent. Planting a new flower bed? Get expert advice at your neighborhood garden center. Trying to get in shape? Connect with a local gym or fitness studio.
But we recognize you might find yourself in a situation where you can’t find what you are looking for at or with a locally owned business (this has a lot to do with corporate power + concentration, which we’ve detailed in the past), so what’s the next best option after that? Here’s what we view as the hierarchy of shopping.
1) Think (local) again
No, seriously. You might have to step outside of your usual go-tos or cross town lines, but most needs can be met right here at home. And if you’re still having trouble coming up with a local solution, shoot us a message or peruse our annual shopping guides for more ideas.
2) Go to a chain
Chain stores do employ locals who contribute to our community and local economy. So, they should be the next stop. And if you can find one that is based in Massachusetts or New England, even better (just do a quick internet search to locate their headquarters).
3) Shop online with a small retailer or brand
These businesses are a local business in another town or city, so they need support too. Often you can find cool things or useful services through an internet search or by consulting a third party platform (like Amazon or Etsy). It’s best for the small business if you buy directly from them, though, so hop off the middle-man and head to their website to place your order!
4) As a last and final resort, purchase the goods and services you need from a large corporation.
Large corporate retailers, delivery apps, service providers, and e-commerce platforms have one goal in mind: to maximize their profits, often harming small businesses, people and local communities in the process. It’s best if you think corporate last…or better yet, never.