Celebrating Local Independence

"Buy Local" Movement Brings New Meaning to July Fourth

by Selin Gok, age 17

Next week, millions of Americans will celebrate our nation’s Independence on the Fourth of July. Local Dane County businesses will also mark the holiday. These locally owned businesses explore what it means to be independent.

Dane Buy Local, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to generate a sustainable local economy through education and collaboration, is participating in “Independents Week.” This seven-day campaign, spanning June 27 to July 7, honors community entrepreneurship and local business members.

The “buy local” movement offers community economies’ a plethora of benefits. Economists suggest that money spent locally can turn over up to six times, in comparison to money cycled through large, distant corporations. Local vendors can keep these profits to create new jobs or to support other local businesses.

Buy local organizations also build networks in, and spur closeness among, communities. Dane Buy Local, for example, now includes more than 800 business members. Additionally, this organization values environmentally-friendly practices, encourages wise land use among its members, and produces less air and traffic pollution than national, corporate companies do.

Madison businesses involved in this movement include A Room of One’s Own, Eye Contact, Four Star Video, and Serrv. Each of these businesses promises to offer special discounts and promotions throughout Independents Week. The full list of businesses participating in this campaign can be found at danebuylocal.com.

Perhaps we can all add supporting the independence of local businesses to our typical Independence Day traditions this year. I personally took the pledge. I hope you will too.

[Source: The Capital Times]