By Ajax Greene:
Many “buy local” campaigns are very welcoming of the local chain store on the corner, but are anti-internet. This makes no sense to us.
Let me be totally clear: Localism loves the internet — when the sellers are locally owned and independent. Just because we are pro-retail does not mean we support large chain stores. And being pro-internet does not mean we support shopping at publicly traded mega sites like Amazon.
In fact, Re>Think Local has several criteria we use for screening members:
- Do the business owners who have a controlling interest (greater than 50% of ownership) live in Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Columbia or Ulster County?
- Is your business registered in the state of New York, with no corporate or national headquarters outside of the previously noted Mid Hudson Valley Region?
- Do you have full autonomy to make your own independent decisions regarding your unique business and its purchasing, operations and distribution, as well as the name and look of your business?
- Do you pay all your own marketing, rent and other business expenses without assistance from, or payment to, a corporate headquarters?
Why are these questions important? It all has to do in part with how money circulates. As a recent study Re>Think Local conducted here in the Hudson Valley shows, locally owned businesses circulate a dollar 3 times more than a non-local business, and this includes internet businesses.