Buy Local or Say Bye to Your Dollar

A rising tide lifts all boats…

IMG_20130823_090823Portland is filled with inspiring individuals that get up every day and strive to make a difference. Last Friday Derek attended the Creative Mornings talk on Urbanism featuring Supportland Co-Founder, Katrina Scotto di Carlo.

Katrina is one of those people who are striving to make a difference in Portland by explaining that “buy local” is more than a catchy tagline. When consumers focus their purchasing decisions locally, more money stays in the local economy. Having a collaborative economy where businesses support each other will help keep even more money in the economy.

At the Creative Mornings talk, Katrina laid out a few examples on how your money is divided up every time you make a purchase. In this example, $140 of clothes were bought via three retailers: Amazon, Big Box Chain, and Local Handcrafted Shop.

When you spend $140 on clothes from Amazon:
$135 leaves your community
$5 stays locally (estimated shipping costs)

When you spend $140 on clothes from a Big Box Chain (eg: Target):
$120 leaves your community
$20 stays locally (employee wages, etc)

When you spend $140 on clothes that are locally made:
$35 leaves your community (materials cost)
$105 stays locally

If you source your materials from local vendors even more money will stay in your community.

PMC_CardSure you might be able to buy more from Amazon or Target with your $140, but odds are it won’t last as long as locally made products and you’ll end up spending more money in the long run. To help connect Portland businesses with Portland area suppliers, Katrina along with the people from ADX developed Portland Made. Portland Made follows a similar structure as Supportland. People are rewarded with points any time they buy products that are made in Portland. These points can be redeemed later on for discounts at their favorite local retailer.

The last half of the talk was a Q&A where Katrina fielded questions from the audience on how a better economy can be built. Katrina shared her favorite resources for entrepreneurs like the Portland Development Commission and Mercy Corps Northwest. She also drove home this point, “There is no reason a business owner should feel like an island. Often people will use the excuse that they are over taxed and don’t have enough time. However, once you seek help, it’s amazing!”

If you get a chance, check out the Creative Mornings lectures in Portland. The talks are free and tickets for each event are made available at 9am PST the Monday before the events. You have to be quick, this event was sold out in 10 minutes! The next event is at the Hollywood Theatre on Friday, Sept. 20th.

If you know of any other great resources in Portland for entrepreneurs and creatives, leave them in the comments section below. For now, we’ll see you at our monthly events.

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