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Jeb Bladine - Localize your holiday purchases

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Nov 23, 2012 | 16 Comments


By Jeb Bladine
Of the News-Register


For the first time, our annual “Shop Local” message is being delivered on “Black Friday.” The irony, no doubt, is not lost on those who believe a Shop Local campaign should promote only locally owned retail and service providers.

Certainly, we maximize the area impact of consumer spending by supporting locally owned businesses. But outside-owned companies also employ local people and support the community, so we should be comfortable extending our “Shop Local” cloak to those businesses.

First, as usual, here’s the message we’ve delivered in this space for almost 25 years:

Dollars spent at home are recirculated to the benefit of our community. Property taxes from local businesses finance our schools and other government services, and those owners and employees support and finance local causes, programs and projects.

Buying locally is a primary way to improve the economy and social infrastructure serving our community. Strong local businesses will draw buyers from other communities, offsetting the outflow of money when local people shop elsewhere.

Tens of millions of dollars are at stake annually. A strong shop-at-home mentality translates into better prices and selections in local stores and a strong economy serving everyone.

Extending the concept

The “Shop Local” concept can be extended to the state and nation. Purchasing goods made in Oregon, or at least made in America, supports some of the most important elements of a strong economy. When those goods are produced nearby, the financial impact is even greater.

Manufacturers provide quality jobs, and our country has lost far too many of those jobs to foreign countries. In fact, one of the most interesting “Made in Oregon” campaigns involves an effort to entice Chinese companies to open manufacturing plants in our state.

There also is a new campaign called “The Made in America Movement” (MIA). Its mission: “To play a part in the restoration of the U.S. economy by connecting U.S. manufacturers with consumers. Educating consumers on the importance of buying American-made products. Partnering with manufacturers and small retail boutiques to collaborate on expanding their Made in USA product inventory.”

At all levels, Shop Local supporters identify the “multiplier effect” of keeping dollars inside our economy. According to the MIA movement, this economic factor generates $1.40 in revenue for every $1 spent, and each additional 1 percent of Made in America goods purchased generates 250,000 jobs.

Bottom line is, consumer spending accounts for a majority of all economic activity. The more spending we keep in our community, county, state and nation, the better our economy will be.

‘New Tradition’ is important

Significant forces continue to impact the level of consumer spending. One is the slow recovery from a great recession; another is growing recognition that overbuying contributes to excesses in energy use and depletion of natural resources.

In such times, it’s even more important to consider the “Birth of a New Tradition” we featured in last year’s Shop Local message. Written by an unknown author, the article went viral on the Internet in 2011, and its core axioms are all the more relevant in 2012.

Give gift certificates to a hair salon or barber, to a local gym or for an auto detail job, the person wrote. Mow a lawn for the summer or take someone for a game of golf. Give the gift of an oil change, cleaning day or computer tune-up. Consider local artwork, restaurant reservations or a night at a nearby B&B.

Turn away from those “monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods,” the writer urged, which are “produced at the expense of American labor.” He or she concluded:

“Let’s make spending choices that show we care about the United States; choices that encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away, keep hiring, and keep contributing to our hometown’s success. When we care about other Americans and turn that caring into action, the benefits will come back to us in ways we can’t even imagine. Choose to make this the new American Christmas tradition.”

News-Register publisher Jeb Bladine may be contacted at 503-687-1223 or jbladine@newsregister.com.

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Comments

11:47 am - Sat, November 24 2012
Fletch said:
Good message.
It seems to me the consuming trend is sending things down the tubes. There is no jobs because the small business is being bypassed because of an INFLATION of material being available online. It's like the Fed printing money. It has devalued the material sold. Now that there is an avenue to buy it 20 to 50% less then the brick and mortar guy can provide it for...
Now wholesalers a distributors are going directly to the public bypassing the very shops that have been selling their material all along.
I'm all for capitolism but SHEEEZ!!!!
I'm not sure what the answer is... But the next time you get layed off, think about the purchases you made online. Now that your layed off, who can blame you for needing to buy online... What a person to do?
09:26 am - Sun, November 25 2012
Dances with Redwoods said:
"What a person to do?"

Not running with the herd can be helpful, and less stressful, too.
04:04 am - Mon, November 26 2012
Troy'ith said:
It is said that buying local keep 60% of money in community, just the opposite if you buy for example at Walmart where only 40% stays. I think it is important, however with that in mind, I also think it more important to have manufacting done in the u.s.. I have been dismayed not hearing any suggestion of import tax in order to bring jobs back to the u.s.

troy*
05:38 am - Mon, November 26 2012
Dances with Redwoods said:
"I have been dismayed not hearing any suggestion of import tax in order to bring jobs back to the u.s."

You, yourself, being somewhat of a politician, why do you think that is, Troy?
07:01 am - Mon, November 26 2012
Dances with Redwoods said:
If our Longshoremen were to stand united and refuse to offload manufactured products from U.S. companies that outsource labor to foreign countries, would the majority of Americans cheer for them as front line Hero's in a war to bring jobs back home?

Just curious.
04:31 pm - Mon, November 26 2012
Fletch said:
AMEN Michael!
05:18 pm - Mon, November 26 2012
Fletch said:
It seems to me Americans are selling themselves out. I'm not sure why we sell US soil to foreigners and send jobs overseas or have US jobs filled by illegal foreigners... Does EO 12803 mean anything to anyone? It's a order signed by George W in 1992 that allows for the sale of US infastructure. They call it "Infustructure Privatization."
http://farmwars.info/?p=6247ure Privatization."
10:43 pm - Mon, November 26 2012
Troy'ith said:
posted "
You, yourself, being somewhat of a politician, why do you think that is, Troy?"

let me say it this way:

A farmer, saw that at feeding time his big pigs would lie down in the trough to eat, preventing the little pigs from getting food. He asked aonservative what to do. They replied survival of the fittest was the law of nature, so let the little pigs die.

Then he asked a liberal. They said double the feed and maybe some would spill over to the smaller pigs.

Then he asked me I told him remove the pigs from the trough.

everyone and everything in government is either bought and sold. welcome to capitalism.

troy*
10:01 am - Tue, November 27 2012
Fletch said:
"It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear."
06:50 am - Thu, November 29 2012
Dances with Redwoods said:
Troy,

I doubt that an import tax would have the desired effect in this age of instant gratification. I actually believe that you'd see rioting in the inner-city streets should people not be afforded access to cheap big screen tv's, cell phones, computers and/or what have you.

Umm....maybe that's what all of those U.S military urban-warfare exercises conducted in every major city in America over the prior decade where in preparation for. Food for thought.
07:03 am - Thu, November 29 2012
Dances with Redwoods said:
Which, the more one thinks about it, the more one realizes why my aunt Juanita always carried a ball-peen hammer with her.
07:11 am - Thu, November 29 2012
Fletch said:
We don't need any reason to insite martial law.
05:27 am - Fri, November 30 2012
Troy'ith said:
we certainly could learn to consume less. There is a reason why 90% of our population only has 20% total assets. Because impulse to consume. They drive debt up.. pay huge interest and buy things that basically have little value after purchase. Although I can pass blame several ways certain areas (2 parties) (rich) (corporations). No one is more to blame of possible economic collapse than the majority of the american public by not understanding consequences of behavior.

troy*
06:54 am - Fri, November 30 2012
Dances with Redwoods said:
Troy, I agree, and it is my opinion that there will not be any actual change until that collapse occurs. Starting with a world wide monetary system that is based on un-earned debt interest through the loaning of fiat currency.

I think we're not too far from a time when lead will be the new gold, and we'll all be wiping our ass's with hundred dollar bills. That's just my humble opine. This year in celebration of Christmas I'm gifting seeds from the garden to my grandchildren so that they may produce their own, to pass on...well...that, and the one book each the three of them will recieve purchased from Incahoots.
05:35 pm - Fri, November 30 2012
Troy'ith said:
posted "one book each the three of them will recieve purchased from Incahoots."

I have always been big into Zen.

Kay Pranis about peace circles. Even Quaker simplicity stuff

but lately.. because of a class.. scott mills, kant and rawls...pretty good stuff.. wish I could be that good in writing..grrrrr..... Well have a good one.. we shall talk later... troy*
06:18 pm - Fri, November 30 2012
Troy'ith said:
forgot one.. how can I forget


" Your money or your life"

joe domiguez, and vicki robin

awesome book.. which personally I think should be mandatory in high school.

troy*
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