By Kevin J Goodman
When and where we can buy local, we must do so. The impact to our local economies and quality of life is clearly impacted in a positive way by such purchasing decisions. As the global economic landscape continues to change, it becomes more important to retain dollars, increase jobs, and grow. The result of supporting local, independently owned businesses strengthens our economy.
Local collaboration and consciousness is an effective mode of creating traction and demand by allowing our neighbors to drive growth and build and share wealth and sustainability. It is easier to keep local customers than to attract them from a competitive global landscape. We can grow stronger locally and then act and deliver more successfully globally. We go to the global market in a more meaningful and lasting way when we have grown strong in our own backyards.
When considering a service provider, it is just as economically important as when choosing products. The company I work at, BlueBridge Networks, serves many small, mid-market, and enterprise-class companies and institutions. BlueBridge Networks, a major Northeast Ohio and Columbus, Ohio, provider of data-center services, such as facilities-based cloud computing and managed services, bring local companies to a global marketplace, thus attracting and retaining dollars and jobs.
We hang our hat on what we call The BlueBridge Difference. We are innovative because we stay ahead of the trends and have a team of the region’s best and brightest IT stars. We are passionate because we believe in our company, teammates, and clients and truly enjoy coming to work every day. We are stewards to our clients because they trust us with the backbone of their business, which we do not take lightly. We also take pride in being acknowledged for our excellence in operations, customer service and philanthropy through several awards and honors. . This BlueBridge Difference is what we bring to our community, first and foremost.
What Defines Local Purchasing Power?
Local purchasing power and impactful results begin by identifying with a local city that is part of a region in which one lives or where a company is headquartered. The region I live in is Northeast Ohio. It is considered to be composed of four metropolitan areas known as Greater Cleveland, the Akron metropolitan area, the Canton–Massillon metropolitan area, and the Youngstown metropolitan area. Backed by the State of Ohio’s new tax structure and millions of dollars put into education, technology, and workforce development, the Northeast Ohio region provides all the fundamentals of success in today’s worldwide market. This allows us to satisfy shopping and service needs in our own backyard. These resources empower residents to make conscious purchasing decisions with the knowledge that minor changes in our spending habits can make a major impact on the region.
Does it really matter if a company has a presence here but is headquartered elsewhere? Absolutely. Various studies clearly show a direct correlation between distance and rate of local return and reinvestment. When a company is headquartered where we work and live in and we shop or buy from them, 45 cents of those dollars are returned and reinvested to the community and its economy, while only 14 cents of every dollar is kept here and reinvested when headquartered elsewhere.
When and where we are able, we should start out by buying within the communities in which we live, own homes, and pay taxes in … then in the region in which we live … and then the state … and so on. The closer to home we make our purchases and pay for services, the more the dollars stay in the area and have a direct impact.
Buy Local Inquiry
When we are in stores or looking to procure services, we can begin a dialogue with the owners, managers, and workers by asking five basic questions of who, what, when, where, and why they buy from?
If they do not carry a locally made grown or manufactured product you are aware of, you can ask if they know it exists as an alternative. Can they bring it in?
As a consumer, we have a right to ask, “Who do you use?” or “Where do you source that?” and to perhaps suggest where they could procure a local item or service.
Where are they headquartered?
Is there a strong local presence off stakeholders and principals living and working in the area?
What local boards does leadership serve on and for how long? Can they quantify their local time talent and treasure provided to the local community?
Local utilization of service organizations headquartered here helps to retain dollars and supports an augmentation of your staff and business. Local reinvestments enable strong strategic partnerships in a more effective manner, extending one’s reach from local to global. Put your dollars in with others and make your community and businesses stronger and more viable, adding to your quality of life.
Kevin Goodman is the managing director, partner with BlueBridge Networks, a downtown Cleveland-headquartered data center cloud computing business. He can be reached at (216) 367-7580 and firstname.lastname@example.org.