For the past few weeks I’ve noticed more and more articles about local businesses, do it yourself movements and the importance of community in such an unstable world.
Here’s a few of the articles that are worth reading:
- The Future of Manufacturing is Local by The New York Times
- Building Community, one Scoop at a Time by Etsy
- Importance of Community – Part I by Freelance Switch
Although there are significant differences in each article they all make a similar point: That the future lies in community and local thinking, and not in individualism and globalization.
I gave allot of thought to the ideas shared in these articles, what they mean and what they can bring to the world. They talk about a world where local is better and a community grows healthy and prosperous around local businesses, that are not only locally owned but also support local producers. It sounds like an utopia, a world away from stock markets and multinationals. A world where people actually care about what happens to the people that they employ cause they are part of the community. But can these brave people actually prosper in the face of giants like Starbucks and MacDonald’s? Can the feat of David and Goliath be repeated? I’d like to think so!
Globalization has brought information, education and opened the world to everyone to see and know, it has also brought multinationals that suck the life out of communities overtaking old businesses by bringing cheaper products and by removing production to cheaper places, leaving behind unemployment and zero alternatives.
This movement tries to fight this trend by promoting local businesses, supported on local producers and with a fair price for everyone. It revitalises dying economies and creates tighter communities where people feel like they’re a part of something.
Local businesses are usually more expensive and have smaller stocks, facts that make it harder to compete in the cruel environment of our times. They have, however, something in their favour, their one of a kind, unique businesses that you can call yours because they exist only in your community and are owned by people in your community.
As hard as it may be for these movements to strive I believe it is worth it. Building a future on community and love is, to me, a dream worth fighting for. And one I would like to see made true.
I believe that profit isn’t everything, that it’s possible to build things with love and make them mean something. That we can pay fair pay-checks to employees and that people can love their job.
What do you feel the future of commerce will be? Will multinationals continue to rule and endanger our individuality? Or can local businesses take over and bring heart back into commerce?