Revitalised local economies offer many advantages to their communities. Local businesses have been shown to be three to four times more effective than large corporations at keeping wealth local. They increase employment, increase the density of local relationships and thereby strengthen community resilience, and enhance community identity and a sense of place.
Strong local economies provide a counter-balance to excessive
globalisation, which—especially in combination with
interest-bearing loans and multi-national trade agreements—has an
overall tendency to concentrate wealth, strip poorer countries of
their resources, fragment communities and local cultures, increase
dependency on middle-men, and degrade ecosystems.
Local purchasing can support:
“Buy local” campaigns have been shown to increase the profits of small- and medium-sized businesses. These businesses are more likely to be private, with local owners who care about the community where they also live. They are also more likely to spend more of their profits at other local businesses, keeping wealth within the community.
investment involves foregoing
the use of money now in the
hope of a future financial
return. Participants in a
living economy recognise that financial
are only indirect
often poor proxies—for
the good life we seek for
ourselves and future generations. Investments within the living
economies framework consider
ecological and social sustainability, community well-being, and the
general state of our ongoing
relationships to people and
Local investments play
an important role within
living economies. By
increasing local production, local investments make communities more
self-reliant. They also encourage communities to come into balance
with the available local resources. Local production also reduces
dependence on middle-men and on the fossil fuels required for
long-distance transport. Local
investments are also key to revitalising Main Streets businesses.
Living Economies' bookstore is full of resources discussing the benefits of local economies, including resources focused on local exchange, local investment, and everything in between. Our recommendations include: