Go local for the best stuff

Keeping the dollars moving amongst local businesses is ever more important, particularly in these tricky times.

That’s why some 30 participants are taking part in Go Local, a special promotion from Cayman Free Press.

“Every year around our anniversary we put together a special promotion and this is our way to support the community in our 47th year of publication,” says Brian Uzzell, managing director of the company.

It was estimated by Tim Mitchell that a dollar spent at a locally owned store was spent six to 15 times before it left that community. From $1, value of between $5 and $14 can be created. However, said the economist, if you spend $1 at a national chain, 80 per cent of it left the area immediately.

Choosing local services really does help the country and what helps the country helps everybody. By participating in this promotion you are protecting local character and prosperity as well as linking neighbourhoods and strengthening the links between stores, local causes and charities. Local decision-making and keeping dollars in the local economy help with jobs and wages as well as promoting entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, product diversity and competition, which can lead to innovation.

You can view the participants at our website, chooselocal.ky. Look for the Choose Local stamp on participating customer advertisements in the Caymanian Compass throughout the month of October.

Worldwide promotions

The promotion is mirrored throughout many towns and cities worldwide, with the vision being to create and bolster a prosperous economy that maximises the share of wealth distributed and controlled within the island community for the benefit of all. These grass roots campaigns are ever-more important in the current economic conditions and it is the local community, which is on the frontline as providers. So let’s get back to buying from a real person rather than a computer screen. The soul of a community is in its human resources, after all.

Here in the Cayman Islands there are many diverse businesses that are involved in the scheme in 2012. The 30 companies involved include technology, yoga, kitchen, automotive, kids, realty, wines and spirits, concrete, restaurants, stores and design amongst others. It really is a great selection of places that are committed to strengthening the local economy so please give them your support.

Frederic Morineau, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is a fan of the innovation.

“The restaurants of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman each incorporate local ingredients into our menus providing our guests, from near and far, with an authentic Caribbean dining experience – a taste of the Cayman Islands,” he says.

“Additionally, when ingredients don’t have to harbour on a boat, they are fresher and nothing tastes better than fresh produce. Buying local also reduces our carbon footprint; It’s a win-win situation.”

Ten reasons to go local

Significantly more money re-circulates in Cayman when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned, businesses. More money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms.

Non-profits receive greater support: Non-profit organisations receive an average 350 per cent greater support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of our distinctive character. The unique character of Cayman is what brought us here and will keep us here. Our tourism rate can also increase because of local, independently owned businesses.

Reduced environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centres as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

Most new jobs are provided by local businesses. The 200 largest corporations in the world employ less than 1 per cent of the global workforce although they account for about 30% of global economic activity.

Customer service is better: Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service. Plus, independent business people genuinely love what they do, and have the ability to go above and beyond to make sure you are a satisfied customer.

Local business owners invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

Public benefits far outweigh public costs: Local businesses in town centres require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to internationally owned stores entering the community.

Competition and diversity leads to more choices: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the longterm. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

Encourages investment in Cayman: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

For a full list of local business participants you can also go to chooselocal.ky as well as looking for the stamp on their advertisement in the Caymanian Compass.

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