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Buy local to be a champion for Rhode Island’s economy
By Jessica David / December 1, 2014 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation is proud to launch a rejuvenated Buy Local RI, just in time for holiday shopping. 

Buy Local RI was created by Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts and the Small Business Advisory Council. We agreed to take it on after our Make It Happen RI initiative in 2012. Thank you, Lieutenant Governor Roberts and SBAC, for your leadership and stewardship of this important initiative! 

Promoting assets and enlisting local advocates for the economy is one of our three economic security strategies. We are committed to sustaining and growing the campaign, which promotes locally owned independent businesses and provides a public resource for people to connect to local products and services. 

Why do we think buying local is important? There are so many reasons! 

Buying local supports good jobs, keeps money in the Rhode Island economy longer, and strengthens our economic and tax base. Small local businesses are Rhode Island’s largest employer. They invest in local supplies, wages, services, taxes, and community donations. A study found that $100 spent at a local store produced $57 worth of local economic activity, while $100 at a national chain keeps only $13 local. Shifting just 10% of the purchasing that Rhode Island shoppers do from chains to independent, locally owned businesses has the potential to add $373 million to our state's economy. 

Local businesses also shape the character of our community. Where we shop, where we eat and have fun – all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses make up Rhode Island’s distinctive character. Local businesses are owned by people who live here and are invested in the community’s future. Local businesses often take more time to get to know customers, meaning better service for you. And locally owned businesses make more local purchases – meaning less transportation, lower energy and fuel costs, and less excessive packaging. 

Please join us! Everyone – individuals, families, small businesses, corporations, and large institutions – can help support the local economy by committing to buying more local products and services. Assess your current spending habits. When you’re making a purchase, consider your local options first. Visit Buy Local RI for a directory, and check out our listing of local holiday shopping events. (If you are a locally owned independent business, make sure your business is listed.) 

Together, we can support Rhode Island’s small businesses and strengthen Rhode Island’s economy.

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