The Ripple Effect: How Buying Local Creates Resilient Communities

The decisions we make as individuals often have a ripple effect on our community and the world. For the third consecutive year, REV is proudly sponsoring the Buy Local Season campaign, an initiative by Lowcountry Local First that aims to inspire the community to prioritize purchasing from local businesses during the holiday season.

Buying local is often the best way to be environmentally friendly and support the community at the same time, and for good reason. For every dollar spent at a local business, about

67 cents stays within the community, while only about 43 cents of every dollar spent at a chain store remains local. This is known as the local multiplier effect, where locally owned businesses recirculate a greater percentage of their revenue into the local economy. When you choose to support a local establishment, your dollars don’t just stop there; they initiate a journey of growth that benefits all of us.

Building Stronger Communities through Local Connections

REV aims to build resilient communities — ones that can respond and adapt to unexpected obstacles and long-term challenges. True community resilience involves numerous factors, such as a healthy natural environment, good local jobs, access to housing, social engagement, cultural connections, inclusive banking and credit options, and reliable emergency services. By supporting campaigns like Buy Local Season, REV works toward creating an ecosystem that encompasses all of these elements. When local businesses thrive, the entire community flourishes. As a

local financial institution, REV understands that its long-term success is directly linked to the resilience of the communities it serves, as well as the resilience of its members, vendors, and staff.

Supporting local businesses means investing in the success and vitality of our communities. These businesses, often owned and operated by friends and neighbors, recognize the particular needs and aspirations of the area. By choosing locally sourced goods and services, we not only experience the satisfaction of connecting with our community, but we also play a critical role in supporting the backbone of our economy. Local farmers, artisans, and businesses rely on our patronage to continue contributing to the overall growth and resilience of our community.

Fueling Economic Growth and Job Creation

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are 33.2 million small businesses in the U.S., accounting for a staggering 99.9% of all businesses in the country. Over the past 25 years, these small businesses have created a net of 12.9 million new jobs, representing approximately 66% of all employment growth in that time. In comparison, large businesses added 6.7 million jobs.

As local businesses thrive, they’re able to hire more employees, provide competitive wages, and offer benefits, strengthening the financial security of our neighbors and friends. They spark the creation of new jobs, providing livelihoods for our community members and fostering a sense of purpose and fulfillment. These jobs, in turn, enable individuals and families to contribute to local charities, nurturing a culture of giving back and supporting those in need. The cycle continues with the growth of our local economy, enabling further investment in vital community infrastructure, education, and other initiatives that enhance the well-being of the community at large.

Preserving the Character of Our Communities

One of the most unique aspects of our communities is their distinctive character and charm. Local businesses often embody this distinctiveness, offering products and services that reflect the local culture, traditions, and craftsmanship. From boutique shops to family-owned restaurants and neighborhood farmers’ markets, these establishments cultivate a sense of authenticity and a sense of place that cannot be replicated within larger retail environments.

Environmental Impact: Keeping it Local

According to a study published in the Sustainability Journal, homegrown businesses are more likely to engage in sustainable practices and have a lower environmental impact compared to larger corporations. By sourcing local materials, the distance products travel is reduced, minimizing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. As transportation is responsible for about 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., adopting sustainable practices such as choosing locally produced goods and services supports a more sustainable and eco-friendly economy, preserving already limited natural resources.

The Power of Choosing Local

Choosing local goes beyond mere economic transactions. It means supporting the dreams and aspirations of our neighbors and friends. ; it’s a conscious choice to embrace a way of living that encourages unity, empowerment, and shared purpose. When it comes to supporting the local economy, every dollar spent holds tremendous power. From a local artisan’s handcrafted jewelry to a painter’s gallery showcasing the coastal landscape, these businesses nurture and illustrate the distinctive talents that are born and nurtured in our own backyard.

To join in on this local-first movement, look for the hundreds of Certified Local decals displayed on business storefronts, indicating that the businesses are locally owned

and operated; and check out LLF’s business directory to browse dozens of participating businesses and find the unique gifts and local experiences you are looking for this holiday season.