I was talking to someone yesterday and we were discussing the importance of buying locally. Now when I say buying locally I mean from a small local business, not a chain that is locally run. I'm talking about small business owned and run by fellow New Mexico residents. Like buying veg and fruit from the local farmers market. Passing by hobby lobby and michaels and going to the local art supply or frame shop. You can even buy a computer from a local small business. I think if we all did this we could make a better economy for not only ourselves but for all of New Mexico. Just my two cents.

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I think some chains have a bad rep...I think it is also important to buy locally, and at some chains that are locally owned. For example, Subway restaurants are owned and operated locally, although it belongs to a nationwide chain. On the other hand, buying from Walmart doesn't funnel the monies back to NM since it is not locally owned. Does that make sense? So, buy from some chains, but be aware of where their monies go...

(And no, I don't own a Subway...it was just an example.)
Where is the farmer's market list? Haven't I seen that here or was it the Alibi?
Hear hear, ArtistType! For anyone wondering how to find locally owned businesses, our trade association (AIBA) is one solid resource. We distribute a print Member Directory all over town--this year, it's a map format making it super easy to find these great businesses. You can find them at places like Page One, Bookworks, La Montanita Co-op, and plenty of other spots. AIBA also has an online directory at keepitquerque.org--though keep in mind that the site is a little hampered right now with some technical issues, and our new site is currently in development, set to launch in March. We're planning some sort of launch event so stay tuned; we'll be sure to post here.

Buying local is even more important now in this shaky economy--shrinking tax revenues are already putting the squeeze on state and local services, and buying local is a great way to get more bang for your buck, if you will, in terms of keeping money in the local economy.
I am glad to see this topic come up here also. During this current economic slump, and the need to build a greener city, it is even more important to support our local businesses. It seems like Walmart moved in and a lot of local businesses went under. Now, with major retailers closing, we need those local businesses back. I'm NOT a Wally World fan :) Looking forward to AIBA's new site launch in March, and will check out their online directory now. Hoping to hear some good ideas in this forum. Thanks again!
I make every attempt to only buy locally from locally owned businesses. No chains. There are certain things I have little or no choice in the matter but for everyday items I spend my money locally. Local franchises of national chains are not included in my choices. It's important to me, and yes it's more expensive, but I feel good about it.
You could probably make the same argument about buying everything mail-order. I mean, there's a local delivering the package, right?
One thing my wife and I try to do is spread the word! When we shop local and we find that they have great service and products we are really enthusiastic about encouraging others we know to check them out. Being a local business owner myself with Los Primos, (http://www.theserenata.com), we are always so grateful for people who pass on the word and recommend us to others. Speaking of... I recommend the "French Toast" cupcake at Cupcake-ology on Carlisle. Yumm!
Great summary of the key ideas! I recently read a book by Bill Mollison called Deep Economy, and it talked about these concepts as well. Wouldn't it be cool if we could go so far as to create a local currency?
Coincidentally I just asked some students this same question earlier today.
Well, I had responded before, but I must not have hit the "post" button. Thanks for pointing out the "choice" element, Amy.

I recently chose to go to Samon's on a plumbing issue. The store manager took the time to teach me how to fix the part I had at home! A) I doubt the Big Box store manager, with the corporate mandates he's supposed to achieve, spends much time talking with customers. B) I'd be surprise if his training even included the concept of repairing vs. replacing. At least in my experience. And, of course, when, due to my limited skill-set I fail to repair my stuff I'll go back and purchase where they had time for me - which they never seem to have at any big-box.

As for the idea that the conglomocoms are cheaper - well they pay a lot of money to create that impression so I am not surprised at how successful they have been, but it ain't so! For example, Village Market on Osuna near 2nd street is consistently less expensive than ANYBODY's produce I've seen. Takes a little longer to get there but the savings more than offsets the time and gas - the added pleasure of a better tasting product is an extra bonus above the savings. Oh, and it's probably healthier, but I'm just addressing the misconception that bigger is cheaper here.

And with gas prices going up the logistics of MegaBrands is not going to work much longer. That was fine when energy was cheap but those days are gone.

Over the last 50 years the Cargills and Monsantos have helped achieve a (roughly) 300% increase in food yields - but at an 800% increase in the use of petrochemicals, not to mention those "affordable" produce items are genetically modified to be "Roundup Ready" and that the farmers essentially "lease" the seeds since they are now the intellectual property of the conglomocom. Cheaper? I don't think so.

All of which works in favor of eating locally and drinking locally. Long Live Marble Street Brewery, Chama River, Socorro Springs, Il Vicino and Tractor Brewing! Not only are they American owned (The Budweiser Clydesdales are now the property of Spain's InBev - no wonder the SuperBowl spot had the Clydesdale run off with a Spanish Circus - subtle, no?) they're superior brews for a modest premium!

Anyway, I choose not to go online and I choose not to shop at a big box and I'm not paying more, I'm just enjoying it more.
Good point about artificial cheapness. I think a cool analogy is that we are essentially eating oil. Also, industrial food is heavily subsidized by our government, so even though food might seem cheaper at Walmart, etc., we pay for it in other ways.
Thank you so much for displaying this info - it's amazing how many people don't understand the impact of spending their hard-earned money. Re: item #3 (in the list posted by Amy, Feb 12), I have read study after study for many years about the fact that more than 50% of tax revenues are provided by small, local businesses; and they are the ones that, seen as a group, hire more people than larger businesses.

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