In honor of Independent Business Month in July we would like to remind everyone of the numerous benefits that come from buying local. As part of Sonoma County’s Go Local Cooperative we have seen first-hand how buying local impacts our local economy for the better. Preserving dollars in the community you live in and love helps foster more jobs, growth and prosperity among local business owners and the community as whole, simply making Sonoma County a better place to be.
Having been in the printing industry for over 25 years, our company has seen sweeping changes including increased technology, growing digital printing demand and the influx of digital signage and 3D printing. Yet the most notable change we’ve seen are cheap, online e-commerce printing companies offering products and services for less and less. Although some business owner’s like the notion of being able to get 250 sub-par business cards for $10, it does more harm than good on multiple levels and in the end they aren’t saving money, they’re throwing it away. This impact rings true for every industry, from ladies footwear to your favorite yogurt company.
In our print shop, we make recycling a priority and we are partnered with a Bay Area merchant who has assisted in our recycling efforts for decades. We also work with our local community to support other sustainable and local purveyors. The money stays in the community and we try to improve the local environment as best as we can making it usable for generations to come.
Here are 10 benefits (of many) that you and the community will gain from spending your money with local businesses:
According to the Institute on Local Self-Reliance, when you buy local you continue to strengthen the base of your community cultivating others to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms.
Support Community Groups
Non-profit organizations receive on average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses. Their involvement directly assists in reducing homelessness and poverty in the community thus allowing for a higher standard of living.
Keep Your Community "One-of-A-Kind"
Think about what makes Sonoma County unique or your particular town. Supporting your local community will ensure the wine industry, art industry, beer and unique food industry of Sonoma County and the surrounding areas survives.
Reduce Environmental Impact
The ability to do business with other local merchants allows for companies to set-up in downtown areas or city centers as opposed to out of town development. In addition to reducing the distance and costs related to the transport of goods, it also contributes less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution. What some businesses fail to consider is that ordering from online companies creates a greater carbon footprint on the environment. The Internet produces 2000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per day in the US with over 200 million internet searches per day.
Create Better Jobs
Small businesses are the largest employers nationally, and they provide the most jobs to residents in our community. Additionally, they seem to foster a greater sense of loyalty within their companies, which helps retain happy, responsible people in our communities. Local businesses also tend to hire local people, keeping them employed longer than chain operated companies.
Get Better Service
Local businesses take more time and resources in the training of their employees, often hiring more qualified and knowledgeable people. They also lean towards implementing more customer service oriented practices resulting in a better experience for you!
Invest in Community
Local businesses are invested in the community’s future. Through strong ties with the local culture and a healthly co-dependent relationship with the community, small businesses invest in the future of the region and thrive through cooperation with their neighbors. Additionally, living, working and employing people in the community causes them to donate their time and money to seeing the profitability of the community as a whole.
Put Your Taxes to Good Use
Compared to national chains, local businesses know the impact of keeping money in the community and investing in local programs and initiatives that improve the community compared to large national chains.
A recent study conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that the local retailers return a total of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 14 percent for the national chain retailers.
We continually support the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, the Rohnert Park Chamber of Commerce, Mark West Chamber of Commerce, Go Local Sonoma County Cooperative and donate to local non-profits like Meals on Wheels and the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Be Able to Buy What You Want
Ensuring competition is the basis of our economic policy and making sure that thousands of small businesses have the opportunity and capability to compete allows for stabilized prices and a variety of services and products.
Encourage Local Prosperity
Entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character. Fostering the livelihood of these people will keep your community thriving in a constantly standardized world.
AJ Printing & Graphics and Wine Country Signs is a commercial printer in Santa Rosa, California specializing in all things signs and printing. We put our relationships with our clients over everything in order to ensure their success. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, you can leave the printing to us and focus on other things. We are a green business, recycling all of our paper and buying from trusted businesses that commit to the sustainability of our planet. We are your partner in print, design, signs and marketing located at 1315 North Dutton Ave, Santa Rosa, CA (707) 525-8600!