Localism is an emerging economic development model that is about community, meaningful jobs, good corporate citizenship, sustainability, food, renewable energy, thinking local first. But, the concept isn’t new. Think about all the parts of a community:
- The citizens who work in stores, at businesses owned by their friends, family, neighbors . . .
- The locally owned business owners who give back more to their communities because they care and their kids are involved in programs, activities . . .
- Think of the local farmers market and all the yummy food that comes from your region . . . Is it in the restaurants, available on the shelves at grocery stores? Can you buy your favorite mustard made by your neighbor at a grocery store after you’ve seen it on a menu?
- Does your community have renewable energy tax credits for you to install solar panels, take yourself off the grid for a more sustainable future?
- Do you own a business and want to make sure you convey your commitment to community?
- Do you buy local as much possible for you household goods and food? Do you bike to work because gas prices are too high? Do you want more bike paths and walkable mixed use neighborhoods so you can buy things in your own neighborhood?
- Do you think creatively about the things missing in your community? Maybe it’s manufacturers, maybe it’s a place for business owners to connect and share ideas, maybe it’s a coffee shop with a bottom line focused on buying as much local food as possible for the highest quality menu. Or have you thought, gee I wish I could buy shares in my neighbor’s business, it’s just so cool? Or shares in the business you work for? Or want to form a cooperative that takes ownership to the employees?