Top 7 Things to Buy Local

Fresh produce

Multiple studies have shown that buying locally pumps two to three times more money into your local economy than buying from a chain store.

But it’s not always practical–or even possible–to buy local. Take shoes for example. Does your city or state have a shoe factory? Maybe. But maybe not. There simply may not be nearby manufacturers that produce all the products you need, nor local venues that carry them in a convenient location.

So how can you really make a difference?

According to the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), businesses that are the most labor-intensive—such as restaurants and service providers—tend to generate larger “local economic multipliers.” Buying from them is how you can really make an impact.

7 types of businesses that give you the biggest bang for your local buck:

  • Locally owned restaurants–Whether it’s a mom and pop, a pizza parlor or an upscale restaurant, dining locally owned helps feed the local economy.
  • Locally grown and produced food–One of the most labor intensive industries, local farming and food production is one of the most beneficial businesses from which to buy local. Think farmers market over chain grocer. (Added bonus: You’ll probably enjoy fresher, more nutritious produce.) Or look for locally grown produce when shopping at a chain if a farmers market isn’t convenient.
  • Service providers–These include accountants, veterinarians, lawyers and other professional services firms. These industries, while small, can create jobs in your region. They may range from creating two to 10 to 50 jobs, but every little bit can add up.
  • Auto services / mechanics–Whether you need an oil change, a tire rotation or a repair, opting for a locally owned place will help drive your local economy.
  • Insurance from a local agent–Talk to your local ERIE Insurance Agent. All ERIE Agents are independent small business owners who operate within local economies. Many started their businesses from scratch, and nearly all give back to their communities in significant ways. They’re there to help you navigate tough questions about insurance and make the best choices.
  • Local pharmacies, book stores, florists and other retailers–Some of their profits may go to purchasing product from nonlocal vendors, but far less so than big chain stores.
  • Locally-owned franchises–While AMIBA reports that franchises return less money to the local economy than a home-grown business, they still return significantly more money to the local economy than a national chain (and they can help create jobs).

Erie Insurance is a regional insurer who’s committed to supporting the local, entrepreneurial spirit by selling insurance through independent agencies and providing insurance solutions for small businesses needs. Learn more at

Find an Agent

Please enter the valid ZipCode