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Thursday, July 2, 2015 12:09 am

Popular items that can be purchased locally

Old Capitol Farmers Market.
Photo by DAVID HINE

 

Many consumers prefer to buy locally when shopping. There are several advantages to choosing local products, including the benefit of aiding your local economy by supporting a business with roots in your community. Dealing with an individual or small enterprise instead of a billion-dollar operation is another reason people are drawn to local stores and businesses.
Spring and summer are great times of year to shop locally, as the warmer weather facilitates strolling community shops and business districts. The following items are popular among consumers who emphasize buying local when making their purchases.

Produce

If you desire fresher fruits and vegetables, then shopping locally is the way to go. According to Local Harvest, most produce in the United States is picked four to seven days before it reaches the supermarket shelves, and it might have traveled thousands of miles before landing on those shelves. A lot of produce is grown and imported from South and Central America, and such produce can take even longer to arrive on supermarket shelves. As a result, the flavor and freshness of fruits and vegetables shipped from afar might be compromised. The best way to get peak-season produce is to buy items that come from local providers.

Home services

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning unit or are considering a home renovation, using a local, licensed contractor is often the smart way to go. Rather than dealing with the red tape of a larger outfit that may subcontract its work, local businesses are often more customer-service driven. What’s more, if ever a problem arises, it’s much easier to go into a local business and discuss concerns face-to-face instead of dealing with an unknown person answering phones at a corporate call center.

Crafts

The home-based arts and crafts industry has undergone a rebirth thanks to sites like Pinterest, Craftsy and Etsy. Many of the items offered in local craft shops are handmade by local artisans and not mass-produced in overseas factories. Local artisans are your best bet when shopping for unique arts and crafts full of detail and quality.

Food

Dining out is a different experience when you select independent restaurants over national chains. Chefs at independently owned restaurants have a greater say over ingredients and menu choices than those at franchise establishments, and you may be introduced to foods you had never before dreamed of trying. Restaurants that team up with local food suppliers offer a double-dose of regional commerce and fresher ingredients. If you’re new to the area, browse the local newspaper, community direct-mailers and coupon books to find dining establishments in your area.

There are numerous benefits to shopping locally and ideal ways to get started in your town or city. Take in a farmers market or street fair to get started.

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