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How to Support Your Local Economy

Posted by: Adam Serio on October 4, 2022
It may be something you don't think about often, especially as you browse online retailers or shop big box stores –but strong local economies are vital to your own prosperity. This is especially true in a recession because people struggle when a local economy struggles. With a looming recession and the holiday shopping season upon us, you have two strong reasons to strengthen your local economy.

Tips for supporting your local economy

Choose local businesses first.

Small and local businesses are often the first to suffer in a recession, which means even more is riding on this make-or-break shopping season. When comparing chain stores vs. local stores, for local businesses, their smaller scale usually means they must have smaller profit margins to compete at all, so declines in business can be especially devastating –even resulting in permanent closure.

The problem is that once small and local businesses close; friends and neighbors start losing their jobs. Without jobs, they must scrimp and go without, which means they are even less able to do their part in supporting the local economy.

When thinking through this, it is easy to see how closely connected everyone in a local economy is and why it is important to shop locally. For this reason, buy from mom-and-pop stores and businesses in your neighborhood, especially during the holidays.

Shop local in new ways.

If you cannot get out into the neighborhood as often as you’d like to patronize local businesses, remember that the internet allows us to shop locally, too. Retail sites like Etsy and even the “Shop Local” section of Amazon will enable you to put your purchase dollars back into the local economy by buying locally sold goods. This is a great way to support local businesses during the holiday shopping season. When you shop at chain stores vs. local stores, search out locally produced products for grocery savings and community support.

Keep your money in the economy.

Depending on your risk tolerance, this can mean keeping it invested –even if your investments are scaled back or adjusted for the market –or depositing it in a guaranteed account at your credit union. Keep your money working for you on deposit. If it is in an interest-bearing account, you’ll be earning money –and you can rest easy knowing it’s fully insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000 per account. If you’re asking yourself where to invest during a recession, you can rest easy with an insured account at your credit union.

Give back locally.

The holiday season is when many people volunteer or donate their time to charitable causes in hopes it will brighten the holidays for families in need. This season, seek out locally based charities to help raise awareness for nonprofit organizations in your community. This allows you to give back while also raising awareness for your local business. They are likely to be in even greater demand during a recession when the importance of giving to others is often challenging to keep in focus.

When you incorporate these tips for supporting local businesses into your daily life, you are going a long way toward helping boost your local economy and brightening the holiday season for many in your community. Go local!