It’s Going Local week here in Indiana this week. What are you doing to celebrate?

We started off the week with a trip to one of my favorite places – Trader’s Point Creamery. It was a little hot, so we couldn’t walk around too much, but the food and scenery were wonderful, as usual. Grant and I had a little date night with a trip to Noble Coffee and Tea, one of our favorite local coffee shops, followed by a bike ride for some pizza and local beer at Pizzology. Yesterday, we decided to ride our bikes to SoHo, a great new cafe/coffee shop on the Monon that we had been wanting to test out. Jasper loved the big patio to run around on, and Grant and I loved our coffee and tea. For dinner, we had some local sweet corn and grilled chicken that we had picked up at the farmer’s market last week.

In Fair Food, I’ve been reading about the local multiplier affect. The author sites several studies that show that the local impact of a dollar spent at a locally-owned business is three to four times that of a dollar spent at a chain store/restaurant. Check out this article and graphic for a visual interpretation. According to the article,

The study concluded that in West Michigan alone, if just 10% of consumer spending was diverted from the mall to the main street, it would result in an estimated $140 million in new economic activity, 1,600 new jobs, and $50 million in new wages.

I don’t know about you, but those statistics are pretty eye-opening for me. We decided a few years ago to quit chain restaurants if at all possible (our only exception is Chipotle because 1) it’s delicious and 2) we want to support chains that are making more sustainable food choices), but we haven’t been as conscientious about non-food shopping. After reading about the impact of dollars spent locally, I need to do better in all of my spending. Even diverting ten percent of consumer spending to local sources could really revolutionize our local communities for the better.

Happy Going Local Week…share your favorite local spots in the comments!