Increase the Wealth in Your Community

Many of us have noticed how some nearby communities seem to be "wealthier" than other nearby communities. They seem to have more shopping markets, more restaurants, more choices; items often cost more in these communities than they do in surrounding areas, yet the affluence remains where the prices are high; people are drawn to these communities, bringing even more resources and more wealth.

The idea behind supporting local economies involves more than just agreeing with a concept, or voting in favor of regulations that favor local business. It involves putting our money where our mouth is?..to spend our money in the community in which we live, for the benefit of those around us. Too many times we are willing to drive long distances to find "exactly what we want" or purchase from internet providers and catalogs, that on a global scale causes large sums of money from a given area to migrate farther away, not to return as a benefit to the community in which it was spent.

There are a variety of reasons as to why this occurs, and all of us are guilty at some point or another. But in order for local economies to survive??.and thrive??.local neighbors must adjust their own mindset to being more receptive to goods and services provided in their own communities. When local business makes money, this in turn revolves back to the public, in terms of growth, more choices, new business creation, and money spent by local business men and women back into the communities from which the money was received. It takes years, and perhaps even decades to see the results sometimes, but a focus on community development, through the spending of your dollars locally, will make a difference in the long run.

About 20 years ago a number of businesses began the acquisition of large quantity goods at extremely low prices, and passed on this savings to the public. The idea caught on like a wave, and mega-stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot have been popping up all over the United States. Most of us have shopped at one of them, and all of us use products that are available there. We may drive 25 or 30 miles to reach one, and because of the time and distance traveled, we are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on one visit to justify the travel expense.

Large supermarkets of this type bring benefits to the community in terms of jobs. But it brings jobs that often pay single digit wages, perhaps hiring people who were laid off from better paying jobs.

What it does do is put tremendous pressure on local business to compete with pricing. Often they cannot compete well, due to lower customer volume or supply sources, and so can be forced into financial stress, or even bankruptcy, because of the new market's arrival. Many studies have been conducted to determine if the arrival of a national chain market has an overall net benefit to a community, or just weakens the local economy by collecting local dollars and transporting them elsewhere. While studies are inconclusive, many areas are suggesting there is a net loss.

In order for local economies to thrive, jobs must be plentiful and businesses must thrive. By this process, the money-----and that is the largest determining factor of the condition of a local economy---must recycle through that same community in which it was generated. Furthermore, a community must attract the dollars and resources of its surrounding areas, bringing in funding sources from "the outside". Growing economies have a positive net in "dollars recycling", where money is coming in from distant communities and staying there. Depressed economies have a net loss----where more money is leaving the community to buy goods and services elsewhere, rather than being applied in the community from which it was generated through jobs or business.

So one conclusion that can be drawn from this is that to improve our local economy (which involves spending dollars there) we must perhaps change our thinking. By developing a fondness for our home community, and a connection with people in our neighborhoods, it is more likely that we will be willing to spend money in our home areas. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side of the fence. It is greenest where the fertilizer was placed.

-----Tom Clouser Madisonburg, PA

Tom Clouser is a 38 year old farmer in Pennsylvania. In addition to farming, he and his father publish a monthly 16-page newspaper called "Trees 'n' Turf", which targets subjects of interest to those in land use industries and activities. View their website at http://www.clouserfarm.net

In The News:


Mobile Pressure Washing and Cleaning Scheduling

If you own a mobile car washing, pressure washing or... Read More

Franchising VS Business Opportunity; What is the Difference?

The modern Franchise business model and the much different business... Read More

Accepting Checks in Your Business Virtually Risk Free

Most businesses accept checks as form of payment for goods... Read More

Arent Small Businesses Lucky?

Why? Because they have access to world class public relations... Read More

Is This The Way Its Always Been Done?

Let's face it, we all tend to get stuck in... Read More

Building Marketing Momentum For Your Small Business

The success of your business depends on your ability to... Read More

Tell Me The Reasons Why I Should Believe You?

Have you ever heard the phrase, 'PREPONDERANCE OF PROOF'?I recently... Read More

But This Is Just My Opinion

Hi, Charles...here, Your Cap and t-shirt guy From Texas. How... Read More

Your Small Business Suggestion Box

A suggestion box is a really good idea for your... Read More

Beating the Small Business Cash Flow Blues

Small business owners can relieve a lot of their own... Read More

When to Say NO!

When is it a good thing to say no to... Read More

Expanding A Mobile Car Wash Business

What is the best time to expand a mobile car... Read More

Community Relations Strategy for Small Business

Does your company have a community relation strategy? Have you... Read More

Janitorial Cleaning Service: Getting Started

A janitorial cleaning service is one of the best businesses... Read More

FTC Adding to the Franchise Rule

Last summer the FTC put forth a report and then... Read More

The Game Plan ? The Difference Between Small Business Success And Failure

It is an American dream to own a business. But... Read More

Small Business Stress Buster: Completion not Perfection

Completion not Perfection Five Keys To Doubling Your Productivity and... Read More

Marketing a New or Small Business on a Budget

There are almost as many opinions and views on marketing... Read More

FFP vs. CPFF Contracts

SBIR Corner: FFP vs. CPFF contracts:In the SBIR/STTR world, the... Read More

Does Your Business Need a Toll-Free 800 Number?

Should your business have a toll free number for customers... Read More

A Small Business Consultant Can Help in Many Ways... But One Thing He Can?t Provide

A consultant must remember that the business belongs to the... Read More

How to Profit from Business Consulting Opportunities

Business consulting opportunities might be just what your are looking... Read More

The Greatest Challenges the Internet Consultant Faces!

While there are few career paths that some would call... Read More

The Care and Feeding of Your Small Business

While I was hard at work last week, an everyday... Read More

Seven Common Mistakes Made By Small Business Owners

Most new small businesses won't be in business this time... Read More