There is a popular movement to encourage us to shop locally - but is this really the best way to support our community?
At first sight it seems obvious that shopping locally will support local businesses and stores. It means that John buys from Sarah, Sarah buys from Bill, and Bill buys from John again - so the money flows in a virtuous circle.
The counter-argument is that large companies pull money in to communities. A supermarket makes its money globally, and then employs people locally and pays their wages - bringing money to the town. Of course some would say that when we spend that money at the superstore, we wave it goodbye again!
There are many other arguments for and against, the employee benefits large companies can provide, the diversity local artisans bring, the environmental impact either option brings - making this far from a simple issue.
While we can't solve everything, BBX have managed to create a platform that has all the benefits of 'community trading', while allowing people to buy and sell across the globe! Through the use of an alternative currency, BBX enables people to trade goods and services while saving them cash and helping them use their spare capacity. 'Locally' becomes synonymous with internationally.
This means that businesses gain the extra strength of working together despite being geographically diverse. Of course, not having to exchange currencies is another big plus.
Many businesses use BBX to help them provide employee benefits, and through the BBX Staff team helping to connect the right people, smaller businesses often trade with much larger concerns. This effectively 'brings money to the town', by making the smaller business stronger both in BBX and in the cash world.
Clearly we've only scratched the surface of the 'shop local' debate, but we'd love to hear what you think. Is local the right way, does it help create a strong, diverse economy with local inventions and crafts? Or is the power of large organisations better, bringing investment in research and innovations with affordable goods for all?
Are there more ways alternative currencies could help bring the best of both worlds, making the global local?
Share your thoughts and ideas with us, or to find out more contact Mandy Swift on 07780 607 670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi, I am Dave, I run thebestof Exeter along with my colleagues. If you want to promote your business or event, get in touch with us on 01392 349 130.