14 May 2008

5 Ways to Make a Difference to your Local Economy

Supporting your local economy sounds like a quaint old fashioned idea these days. There is so much talk of the benefits of being involved in the Global Economy that it seems almost odd to question this prevailing view.

But is it really good for all of us? Is it in the best interests of our local communities that big business fights measures being put in place to preserve our local environments and employee rights? Is it really in our best interests that any profits made in our community are sent to head offices located in other cities or worse in other countries? Just who is it that is really benefitting here?

By supporting our local economy we build stronger communities. It encourages us to get to know our neighbours, to look after our neighbourhoods and to be more self reliant as a community.

Want to know how to support your local economy? Check out this list and start to make a difference in your neighbourhood today!

1. Eat Local
Try shopping at the local Farmer's Market. Its a great way to get fresh seasonal produce and to get to know your local producers. Or grow your own vegetables and swap your excess produce with the neighbours.

2. Shop Local
Support local, family owned businesses. It keeps local money local.

3. Invest Locally
Rather than send your money offshore by investing in Global Corporations, try investing locally. This way you can help support local organisations, individuals and entrepreneurs - and you know where your money is going. You can also be sure that you are investing with your values and directly benefitting your community..

4. Buy Local Renewable Energy
If you have the choice buy your energy locally from renewable sources such as wind farms. Better still invest in solar panels and generate your own..

5. Get Involved
Get to know your neighbours. Volunteer at local community groups. Stand for your local Council - or just attend the public meetings so you know what's going on. Read local newspapers. Join local clubs. Be an active member of your community!!

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Nozza (Capitalist Swine Extraodinaire) said...

Great ideas.

In point 3 you talk about local investment. I know a New Zealand based company that may have a share issue for you and your friends to invest in.

You may want to bear in mind that in a few months said company will be a global corporation extracting money from communities that are nowhere near its headquaters.

This is a condundrum: How do you support a local business that will gain it's money by selling globally.

Perhaps NZ companies should not export?

Knowing our local community and neighbours is good value for all society - I know my neighbours and they know me and our children play freely and safely because of this.

kiwimeg said...

Well Nozza (capitalist swine extraordinaire), I guess the dilemma for any responsible, aspiring global corporation is how to operate globally while positively benefitting all the local economies in which it operates.

This could involve paying fair wages, training employees, sponsoring local events, offering scholarships to local students, not polluting the environment . . .

I'm sure any entrepreneurial individual would have no problem coming up with ways for their monolithic global enterprise to effectively support and strengthen local economies. It makes good business sense after all - the stronger the economy the more money people have to spend with your company.