Think Local . Live Local .

Buying local is more than just patronizing our independent and locally-owned businesses. A true “localteer” needs to Think Local and Live Local.

By thinking local first, your choices in who you do business with can make dramatic changes in our local economy. We can’t always get everything we need from local businesses, but by making conscious choices, we can maximize the impact of our daily actions and purchasing decisions.

Just like buying products made in America is a good thing for our national economy, supporting businesses in our city/community is a good thing for our local economy.  Make “Buy Local” your shopping slogan and use the Rely On Local Business Website Directory as your primary buying guide resource as I do.

Gaye Walden,

Community Voices: Renewing the American Dream

For generations, people around the world have aspired to “the American Dream” of personal freedom and economic prosperity.  In light of the global economic recession and growing political turmoil it may be time to renew the American Dream with a new, far reaching, yet practical vision.

We can get back to our roots creating jobs and rebuilding our economy, locally and nationally. We can do this by investing in our communities through small businesses, healthy farms and community banks. Plus, we can do this while being better stewards of our land, protecting working people and reversing the trickle up of our wealth.

In this video, Anthony Flaccavento, discusses how locally-led economies, resilient communities and love could provide the foundation for this new vision.

About Anthony Flaccavento

Anthony Flaccavento, founder of SCALE, Inc., is an organic farmer in Abingdon, VA, and has been working on community environmental and economic development in central Appalachia for the past 25 years. SCALE, Inc, is a private consulting business dedicated to catalyzing and supporting ecologically healthy regional economies and food systems. SCALE works with community leaders, farmers, foundations, economic development agencies and others in Appalachia, and other communities.


From Hero to Host: the "New Operating System"

This article is adapted from a chapter in Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now. Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze. Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco. April 2011.

Something extraordinary is happening in Columbus, Ohio.

Leaders in some of America’s largest institutions—healthcare, academia, government—are giving up take-charge, heroic leadership, and choosing instead to engage members of their community.

So what does this mean? (more…)

See How Locals Are Making the Shift in Charleston, SC

We know it’s not enough to have a bright idea. The real test is whether or not we can turn our ideas into action.

For Rely On Local Business, we are turning our ideas into action by educating and encouraging more local people to support local business, and have local businesses support one another for a better local economy. Very much like the video below from one of my BALLE Local Economy Fellows – Lowcountry Local First serving the Charleston, SC community. (more…)

Local Business is Key to Creating Real Prosperity

When asked to name our favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or bookstore, many of us would mention a unique local business that we know and love. Local, independent businesses are owned by our neighbors and fellow community members, and they help define our sense of place.

Yet we often neglect the important role that we, as consumers, play in helping these businesses grow and thrive. And sometimes we find out the hard way, when a favorite local business shuts its doors and we had no idea it was struggling. (more…)

Does Growth Equal Progress? The Myth of GDP

GDP measures economic growth, but is it an accurate measure of progress?

While GDP has been steadily increasing, indicating a growing economy, other metrics of progress show a very different picture. Demos’ report, Beyond GDP, makes the case for why GDP is an incomplete measure and explains in depth what is missing from GDP that prevents it from measuring progress. Demos is also releasing a set of infographics that charts important social measures against GDP growth that we will share with you in a later post. One chart shows how inequality is rising even as GDP is rising, which shows that fewer people are benefitting from the economic growth. (more…)

Measuring Well-Being Locally

In the United States and around the world, communities are embracing alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to measure local progress in a less monetary way. Examples of these alternative metrics include the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), the Well-Being Index, Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index, the ICLEI STAR Communities Index, and the Happiness Initiative. Several U.S. states, including Maryland and Vermont, have formally adopted the GPI as a measure of state well-being and have begun to integrate it into their legislative processes. (more…)

Creating an Environment Where Local Business Can Thrive, Not Simply Survive

A sure way to strengthen your local economy.

Many local owners have invested substantial time, energy, and money in their businesses, so they have a natural interest in the long-term health and sustainability of their communities. They are your friends, neighbors, and fellow community members. Through their shops, services, and restaurants, they work to live out their hopes and ideas for making your community great. (more…)

We Have Tremendous Power to Change the Way our Economy Operates

Why Local Business Matters

We need to invest in communities that celebrate a more comprehensive vision of happiness and prosperity, where all people have the resources and opportunities they need to engage their minds, nourish their bodies, nurture their families, support their neighbors, and protect their environment. But even as we focus on our own communities, it’s important for us to recognize our broader role in crafting a larger, global network of cooperatively interlinked and sustainable local economies.

As individuals and as communities, we have tremendous power to change the way our economy operates. By working collaboratively and sharing resources, we can come together to build vibrant and supportive local economies—where we can share our skills and talents, get our needs met, and focus on what really matters in life. (more…)