Over the past few years we’ve heard people talking about the importance of shopping local. These programs have been springing up across the country, urging consumers to join the “Buy Local” movement.
So, what difference does it make when communities shop at local businesses?
Well, the truth is when consumers buy from local stores instead of big box stores, more of their money stays in the community.
Although sometimes the costs may be slightly higher at locally owned businesses, there are many benefits, such as lower transportation costs, more eco-friendly communities and the opportunity to form growing relationships with local business owners.
Buying local also alerts the community about the gaps in the market, creating a stronger sense of entrepreneurship and pushing for new businesses to prosper in markets that hadn’t previously existed locally.
When spend your money in RVA it keeps our neighborhoods unique with prospering local businesses versus streets lined with big box retail chains.
Here in Richmond, there are a few organizations that are dedicated to encouraging consumers to buy local goods and services. The Greater Richmond Retail Merchants Association is well known for their Think. Shop. Buy. Local movement, a large scale movement that works to promote the economic benefits of buying local goods by working across Richmond and the surrounding counties.
Originally created as a project at VCU, ShopRVA is a smaller nonprofit made up of local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are joined together to promote the culture and individuality of RVA. ShopRVA was created in 2009 and works to make RVA more green, economically and environmentally. Their goal is to make Richmond businesses into a strong foundation for a thriving local economy.
“ShopRVA is new and filled with so much potential, people should listen to what they have to offer,” said Micah West, a student who worked with ShopRVA at VCU’s 2012 Social Media Institute. “They support the great things we have in the Richmond area and they want to express the creativity and personality of Richmond.”
These organizations work to remind us what makes Richmond such a unique city and they highlight why RVA is a wonderful place to live, eat, work and shop. With local restaurants on nearly every block, small markets throughout the Fan, and unique stores and boutiques in neighborhoods like Carytown and Libbie & Grove it is easy to shop RVA.