locally — help a neighbor
This time of year,
farmers around the state are starting or wrapping up the harvest. They
can enjoy the fruits of their labors, take a satisfying rest, and take
some time with family and friends to thank the good Lord for his help
with a successful crop or surviving the poor weather some areas had
I often wonder if
there’s some way we can help our
neighbors by purchasing their products. What really got me to thinking
about this is a little message I am seeing as I browse the Internet.
It says, “Browse globally, buy locally.”
That little saying
makes sense. What it means is do your research online. But when
it comes time to buy, shop at home.
It’s no secret
that you can get some pretty good prices on the Internet. But buyer
more to a purchase than the price.
Recently, a friend
told me that he had made his first major purchase from an Internet
site. He was proud of the savings he made, thinking he was a pretty
smart shopper. But then he thought a little more about his decision
to buy online.
Part of the price
savings came from the fact that the Internet store did not charge sales
tax. Where I live, the tax rate is about 7.5 percent. For a major purchase,
that can be a lot of money.
But think about what
that 7.5 percent does. It helps pave city streets and build sidewalks.
It helps schools pay competitive salaries. It pays for local government.
It ensures that emergency medical services, fire departments, police
and 911 are available when we need them.
Besides helping provide
services we take for granted, my local purchase would have put money
in a neighbor’s
pocket. Every dollar spent locally ripples through the economy and
stimulates a lot of good things.
My friend's Internet
bargain turned out to be less of a bargain the first time he needed
some help with it. When you buy locally, you buy more than the product — you
also purchase the assistance of the person who sold it to you.
days there are many opportunities to buy locally. Farmers’ markets
let producers take their goods directly to the consumer. When
we fill up the tank, choosing ethanol or biodiesel lets us help Missouri’s
corn and soybean growers. Missouri wine and grape juice is a nice
companion to meals, especially ones that include Missouri pork, beef
or poultry. The AgriMissouri
program (1-866-466-8283 or agrimissouri.com) supports made-in-Missouri
This year, as you
begin shopping for the holidays, remember that little slogan and buy
locally. All of our friends and neighbors will benefit.
Hart is executive vice president of the Association
of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.