Shop local to support Kentucky

Paidin Dermody

Shopping locally is more than just stopping by the farmer’s market occasionally to pick up some fresh, locally grown produce.

There are so many locally-owned businesses that offer non-food items which should be shown more love. These businesses can help spruce up your wardrobe with apparel, decor and jewelry, and they work to benefit your local community.

There are many reasons to ditch the chains and get your things from local stores.

First, the money you spend when shopping local stays in the local economy. A study from Civic Economics about Andersonville, Chicago found that for every $100 spent at local businesses, 68 of those dollars stayed within the community. Just $43 stayed in the community when spending at a national chain.

Shopping locally creates more local jobs. Since more money stays in the community, local businesses are often able to create higher-paying jobs for their employees. So, by keeping your wardrobe up-to-date with the latest local trends, you are also helping to create better jobs for local teachers, policemen, firemen and many other necessary professions.

Additionally, local shoppers help to save the environment. Now, you don’t have to go completely green, but shopping at local businesses cuts down on fuel from transportation, it conserves energy and resources, and reduces packaging requirements.

This kind of shopping invests in entrepreneurship, which is what the American economy is founded upon. Overall, supporting local businesses makes for a strong, close-knit community.

In Kentucky, there is a great local organization called Shop Local Kentucky, founded in a garage in Georgetown, Kentucky in 2014. It has since moved its headquarters and storefront to Lexington, and the business is now supported by more than 70 retailers across the commonwealth, according to its website.

On the company’s Facebook page, Shop Local Kentucky lists its initiative as, “to keep the grass blue by promoting locally owned, independent businesses in Kentucky.”

Shop Local Kentucky also has a website featuring locally made and sold apparel, caps, jewelry, neckwear and accessories. All items featured on its website can be purchased directly from the site.

Shopping locally benefits consumers and their communities. Next time it’s time to shop, don’t forget Shop Local Kentucky to support and appreciate your old Kentucky home.

Paidin Dermody is a journalism freshman.

[email protected]