Why It’s More Important than Ever to Boycott Big Business and “Buy Local”

Small, locally owned businesses are the backbone of America. Don’t let international corporations crush them during this crisis.

We have a short window of opportunity over the next few weeks to save small, locally owned mom and pop shops from the chopping block, so let’s put our money where our mouths are before it’s too late

When money is tight and stress levels are high, it’s tempting to buy the cheapest, most convenient things we can find.

Whether it’s fast food, a one-stop shopping trip to a big-box store, or getting everything delivered direct from China, we all fall prey to the low-price leaders from time to time.

And, in a pinch, I’m glad they exist just like anyone else.

But we’ve reached a critical turning point in history, where we have to decide what we want the world to look like for our children.

Unless we want a world of pseudo-choices — between Target or Walmart, McDonald’s or Burger King, and Amazon or Amazon — we need to diversify our spending.

Start with baby steps to the local farmers’ market, or if they’re not open yet, join a CSA that delivers.

We’re learning more now than ever how important it is to keep our food supply chain local, as mega, mono-crop farms, that ship food around the country and world, are having to destroy their products, because they are inflexible and ultimately unsustainable.

Small, biodiverse farms with a variety of organic fruits and veggies, and pasture-raised meats and/or dairy products, however, can adapt to the market’s ever-changing needs and demands.

If we’re not eating at restaurants as much, they can deliver a variety of fresh food right to our door, as opposed to the mono-culture tomato farm that was supposed to supply ketchup to amusement parks, cruise lines and schools.

Which brings us to restaurants.

We’ve all learned in the last couple of months we’re capable of a lot more home-cooking and dishwashing than we ever thought possible. But we also could all use a break now and then.

When we take those breaks, especially over the next few weeks, we really need to think about which restaurants we’d like to be around in the long run.

Unfortunately, McDonald’s probably isn’t going away anytime soon. But your local cafe that sells fresh, responsibly-sourced, chef-inspired seasonal dishes could very likely go under, if it hasn’t already, without our continued support. 

While food is at the top of the priority list for most of us right now, we should consider extending these principles to other areas of our lives, such as clothing, furniture, crafts, toys, household cleaners and personal hygiene products.

For example, in my home city we have a store that sells locally made, organic cotton clothing. It’s more expensive than the international clothing retailer across the street, but it pays a living wage to our neighbors and doesn’t exploit slave labor on the other side of the world.

The cotton is grown more sustainably without causing massive pesticide pollution or mass suicides among farmers in India.

Maybe I can afford to buy two dresses for the price of one across the street, but do I really need two new cheaply made dresses that’ll probably end up at Goodwill in a few months?

Last but not least, you can even support locally grown medicine. There’s probably someone at the farmers’ market or in your local natural moms’ group who makes homemade elderberry syrup, handcrafted herbal teas, tinctures and tonics, all-natural healing balms and diaper rash creams.

You may even consider visiting a local masseuse, acupuncturist or naturopath, reducing your reliance on one of the most powerful, least-helpful industries in the world, Big Pharma.

Whether or not you believe the official story on how this pandemic came to be, we know from history that Big Business will never waste a good crisis. The leaders of industry will try to seize this opportunity to consolidate their cartels and further their monopolistic stranglehold on our economy.

But, we the people also have an opportunity to wake up and take back our power. Barter, trade, grow our own and make our own. What you can’t do for yourself, buy from your neighbor, or a self-employed, small business owner, and stick it to the Man!