With America’s Main Streets in need of help like never before, the push to purchase from local businesses and support local manufacturers is more important than ever. Along with trying to buy locally-grown produce and locally manufactured goods, you can also help by planning your next home improvement project with the little guy in mind.
Benefits of Buying Local
At times, supporting local business can be a tough pill to swallow at times; however, the money you spend purchasing goods and services from local companies can make a big impact in several ways. Here are a few benefits of supporting your local businesses:
- Local businesses produce more income, jobs, and tax receipts for local communities than big box stores do.
- Local businesses are more likely to utilize local ads, banks and other services.
- Local businesses donate more money to nonprofits and are more accountable to their local communities.
- Supporting local businesses preserves the economic diversity of our communities and the unique character of our neighborhoods.
- Supporting local businesses is good for the environment, because it cuts down on fuel consumption. Buying locally produced goods reduces the need to ship goods from thousands of miles away and also cuts down on the distances shoppers travel.
Finding Local Contractors
If you’ve lived in an area all your life, there’s a good chance that you already have a relationship with one or more local contractors. On the other hand, if you have recently moved, have been disappointed with work in the past, or are beginning a project that you don’t already have someone in mind for, it can be difficult to find a reputable company to perform the work.
While the phone book might have been the go-to guide for contractors in the past, the fact is that the limited information a small print ad offers on a company’s performance is far from optimal. The phone book, however, is not your only option. Word of mouth is certainly an excellent way to find a good contractor, as few would recommend a sub-par company to others. Online resources that offer customer reviews and information on local contractors across the country can also be helpful.
How to Build Local
Know where your materials come from. When you buy counters, flooring, or fixtures, make it a point to purchase those that come from your area. For example, purchase a faucet that is locally produced rather than one manufactured across the country or overseas.
Discuss your desire to build using local components with your contractor. Once you have found the right contractor for your project, he or she will probably know other local businesses that can contribute facets of your remodel that might otherwise come from out of town.
Don’t balk at the price. In the long run, putting your money back into your own community pays off. Even if the initial cost of your home improvement project is increased slightly by building local, in the end, you are likely to give your community a boost—and may end up getting better service, to boot.
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