It’s Time To Pay Attention And Shop Local

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“Growing up, I remember my parents checking labels at the supermarket so they could try to purchase things that were Australian grown and made. I used to roll my eyes and groan at how long they were taking over something ‘useless’ because at the time, I didn’t really understand or care. I mean, 10-year-old me wondered,’ Why spend more when there’s another tin of tomatoes right next to it for half the price?’

Then life started rolling on and as an apprentice hairdresser earning $6 per hour, my biggest concern was quantity for value, because let’s face it, I sure didn’t have a whole lot of money to be spending! So it was more of the same. Why spend more when there’s another tin of tomatoes right next to it for half the price?

A few years later, I got my head out of my ass and started understanding life a little more. It didn’t matter what was ‘cool’ and ‘trendy,’ it was about trying to keep our money circulating through local businesses instead of watching it float away into big corporations so the rich could continue to get richer, while the poor continue to get poorer. I mean, I doubt the money was going to make or break a CEO’s daycare fees for the week, but perhaps it could have been the difference for a small business owner with kids.

I also finally grasped the concept that some people were getting paid peanuts by some big corporations so these businesses can maximize their profits while laborers scrape by with miniscule paychecks, including products being made in countries where their minimum wage is f–k all. BOOM. Reality hit me and I felt like crap for not paying attention sooner.

Sure, we don’t exactly earn buckets of money, but we’re in control of where we choose to spend it and while it may not always be affordable for us to choose Australian made (or wherever you’re from), surely supporting local where we can is better than nothing. I mean, imagine if we ALL started making that conscious decision? Collectively, we could make a pretty decent change in supporting local businesses.

I’ve also come to realize something that small businesses have probably been dealing with for ages – marketing is kind of f–ked. Everywhere we turn, information about celebrities is being shoved down our throats. Their endorsed products are all over socials, news sites cover the ‘scandal’ in their lives, our TV is filled with watching their lavish lifestyles – their global reach is phenomenal! (Or should I say phenomenally ridiculous?)

I mean, a celebrity can literally post a picture on Instagram and earn thousands of dollars for a product they may not even actually like or use, but they’re worth it because they’ve mastered the skill to provoke desire from their fans. So then these desiring fans reach out to buy these products because it feels like they’re grasping a small association thanks to the cool, trendy, celebrity endorsed product, and so there goes some more money into supporting their extravagant lifestyles.

I’m not saying hard workers don’t deserve to be paid for their time and effort, but it doesn’t sit right with me reading that someone is earning tens of thousands of dollars for one single post while a local business that also likely has a brilliant product no one knows about is on the sidelines because our advertisements are filled with the rich and famous.

Meme’s about how celebs buy their toddler a diamond ring for Christmas while others consider buying avocados ‘splashing out?’ Ouch, an unfortunately accuracy stings for many people with that comedic value.

So, I’m here writing this today in an attempt to encourage others to think about how they can support local too, because the wealth balance is just so off and we really do rely on each other’s support, no matter how small it may be.

Want some new earrings? Loads of local businesses make amazing earrings. Got a local farmer selling veggies? Check them out! Birthdays coming up? Try sourcing some gifts from a local business. When locals support locals, amazing things happen.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Bowman of Living My Family Life. Purchase Katie’s book hereSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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