Buy Local is for B2B, Too!

Support Local Business placard isolated on white

Bob buys lunch from Jan’s Diner. Jan buys produce from Ted’s farm to promote daily specials. Ted keeps his accounts at Bob’s bank. Many of us understand the benefits and try to Buy Local in our personal spending, but Buy Local is even more powerful in business to business spending.

As a business owner in Hampton Roads, I’ve recognized the best and fastest way to keep your local economy thriving is to keep spending as much as possible within locally owned or based business. B2B dollars spent locally spin out into our community to support other businesses that create jobs, enhance local prosperity and support the institutions and causes that improve our region’s quality of life.

And this is a proven fact…

Civic Economics did an analysis of the economic impact of office products procurement by comparing a locally-owned supplier in Arizona to a contract division of a national supplier with local operations (Procurement Matters: The Economic Impact of Local Suppliers, 2007).

The local supplier had a greater effect on the local economy than the national supplier. Thirty-three percent of the locally-owned supplier’s revenue was recirculated within the community whereas only 11.6% of the national supplier’s stayed in the region.

The conclusion of this study stated that “local suppliers generate dramatically greater economic activity than their chain competitors.” If this is true for office suppliers, what about the impact your business makes?

Most private and public sector businesses and institutions recognize their longevity in their community are very much related to the community’s health. Buying locally is both good for our bottom line and good for the community which is good for our bottom lime. It’s a positive cycle!

How can you get started in your business? It’s easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Review your current business vendors with a commitment to bring as much “home” as possible. Organizations that have done this have found world-class solutions right around the corner that provide greater service at a lower price.
  2. Look Local First. Make it part of your company culture.
  3. Understand that rock bottom price is often not the best deal for your business. The employees of that off-price, offshore website won’t be re-spending your dollars where you live.

If you want an example of a great company with a Buy Local ethic, look at the growth and success of Towne Bank.

What ideas to you have? Share in the comments section.

Buying local with you,

John Willcox, President

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