By Nidia Gonzalez

You may have heard of the phrase “shop local,” but how does this really benefit you and the community you live in? The reality is that shopping locally has more benefits than just making Phoenix a colorful and unique town.

More money back to our community

Local businesses are owned and operated by friends and neighbors. These are people who are invested in the advancement of their community; therefore, more money from local commerce goes back into the community. This money is used to invest in our schools, our infrastructure and other public services. A study conducted by the American Independent Business Alliance found that out of $100 spent locally, $43 remained in the community versus $13 when spent at chain stores.

Creates more local jobs

As we reinvest in our community and local businesses begin to grow, more jobs are created locally. These jobs typically offer better wages and more ethical working conditions. These jobs are also less likely to be outsourced, which results in maintaining more job opportunities in the community.

Unique buys and experiences

Local business typically have a unique service experience, which gives consumers the ability to be more selective when making purchases. You are able to ask the farmer when your vegetables were picked and if there were any chemicals added, and ask the clothing shop owner if the clothes you’re purchasing were made by an ethically conscious company. This gives you the power to support businesses whose practices more closely align with your personal values and beliefs.

A side benefit of shopping locally: you’re more likely to find one-of-a-kind items that are likely to cause a “where-did-you-get-that?” reaction.

Shopping locally benefits our community by creating more in-state revenue and a higher number of quality jobs. Together, we can make Arizona a magnificent place to live for generations to come. To learn more about the local first movement visit LocalFirstAZ.com.

Arizona Federal Credit Union, a locally-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, is a proud sustaining member of Local First Arizona.