One of our clients has a great way of describing the benefit of buying locally: raising the water level. By this he means that when our money is spent at locally owned businesses, the “water level”, the overall health and economic viability of all local businesses improves.
At Kona Impact, we see this every day. A dollar spent on Kona coffee, for example, is circulated through our economy by the retailer (which, in the ideal, is the farmer) to farm laborers, coffee processors, farm equipment and supplies stores, and, yes, companies like Kona Impact that provide design and marketing services to coffee farmers. Very little of the money that goes to a coffee farmer coffee leaves our community. The water level rises.
In contrast, a bag of Starbucks coffee purchased at Safeway does very little to improve our community, as almost all of the economic activity that goes into growing, processing, packaging, and distributing the coffee occurs off-island. In addition, the profit from that coffee sale is repatriated chiefly to the mainland.
A common misconception is that a “big box” store will have more selection than a local business. Here at Kona Impact, for example, we actually have a much greater variety of specialized wide-format printing material than anyone in town. And, as a new client pointed out the other day, our prices are lower, our service is better, and our turnaround time is much faster than the local big box store that has some overlap with us in wide format printing.
So, if you want to get something done better, faster, less expensive, and support your community, give a locally-owned business a call.