Shop Locally First

December 5th, 2011

As an investor I look for companies that return a part of the profits to me by means of dividends. I’m wise enough to know, though, that before I get my share, the top executives and board members have taken a cut of the action. I try to vet my investments for companies that compensate their top management well but not outrageously and that treat their employees fairly.

I  direct my purchases to those companies I invest in but only if there exists no local alternative. I invest in Proctor & Gamble (P&G) yet I purchase my bath soaps at farmers markets and craft fairs.  Why?

LocalFirst found that for every $100 spent, local businesses put $73 back into the local economy, while other businesses put back $43. Keeping money in the community keeps jobs in the community.”

P&G makes plenty of products I can’t find locally but I keep looking for more. I try and make the biggest impact by finding products I buy regularly: foods & toiletries. In the San Francisco Bay Area I can find many local olive oils, a variety of dried beans, and tasty cheeses in addition to our renowned wines; specialty grocers are good at finding local specialties.

When on vacation I’ve found local wines in New York, Pennsylvania & Texas;  every region seems to have its favorite BBQ sauce or marinade; and produce. We try to eat at local hangouts with regional dishes rather than at a chain.

Check out ShopLocalSF or my link for the Bay Area. If you live elsewhere, do a search on “shop local [your city or area name].

If you’d rather shop online, is one portal for finding handmade goods from local people.

Start now!