Why Local and LOCALMOTIV?

There are so many reasons why we are all dedicated to local, we could not possibly list them all. But I can tell you a few reasons why we started LOCALMOTIV.

First, there is the unparalleled shopping experience. As localists, we appreciate all that local independent merchants have to offer. We love the process of discovery to find our favorite shops and the curated products that the owners thoughtfully bring to us. Perhaps the unique choices empower us to express our own individuality? Or, we love when we walk into a local clothing boutique and the owner and staff all know us and our particular styles. They can actually help us when we need that dress for a certain party or that wardrobe refresh. We know that we will leave confident and happy that we bought exactly what we needed.

For some of us, it makes us feel good to know that shopping local is better for our environment as studies now show. And the cherry on top is that we feel really good about spending our money locally because we know that more of every dollar spent locally is reinvested directly in our communities.

And when we spend our hard earned money at our local merchants, we are in turn rewarded with vibrant communities: more dynamic shops, quaint restaurants and coffee shops, tourists buzzing about, and more diversity.

We do not stand with the big retailers who just offer us “more of the same” just because their data dictates to sell us this or that for the optimal profit margin.

We would rather just buy “our stuff” from someone we know. In some ways, I guess, we are voting with our wallets.

The threat to local

Yes, local is under attack. It is not “new news” to any of us. We could write on this subject forever but a recent Credit Suisse research report sums up the precarious environment perfectly: It predicts that that 8,600 bricks and mortar retailers will close their doors in 2017. This frightening trend is moving at an alarmingly accelerated pace. With online retailing continuing to grow by double digits, among other factors, local independent merchants need our help not only to thrive but to survive!

And it is not just a threat to our local retailers. It is a problem that we should be concerned about because it negatively impacts our beloved communities. Without diverse, local businesses thriving in our neighborhoods, our entire communities begin to erode. We have seen these patterns since the early 1970s as neighborhood after neighborhood has died a slow painful death with the onslaught of big box, national, and then ecommerce retailers along with their low paying, employee crushing “job opportunities.” They operate for the benefit of profit to their shareholders.

If we don’t do something about it, from my perspective, I see a future dystopia where we get to shop on amazon for our stuff and amazon foods for our food. We might be lucky to have a chance to go to Walmart and then stop by Starbucks for a cup of coffee.

Wow, this turned out to be a bit of a manifesto…

Apologies for my manifesto and melodrama but these are some of the reasons why we created LOCALMOTIV. I think I went on a crazy journey from “accidental locavore” to arrive at being an “avid localist.” I am not even sure how or when that happened.

But what I may have discovered on the trip is that we want more connection with our communities. Not less. And there is nothing better than participating in our community by doing what we love — shopping at local retailers.

As I always like to say, LOCALMOTIV is not just a business, it is our platform to make positive change — not only in our communities — but in all that we do.

In my upcoming blogs, I will be writing about Oakland, local neighborhoods and shops that exemplify those local experiences that we all crave.

For more information, blogs, and a chance to share about this important topic, visit www.localmotiv.social.

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