Small Business:
Buy Local, Think Global

I love Small Business Saturday.

I love to buy local.

I love that small businesses create two out of every three jobs in America and generate 65 percent of net new jobs.

Yet I wonder in today’s global economy, just how local is small business?

  • Is a Mexican restaurant in mid-town USA, that employs a chef from Mexico and runs “net specials of the week” really local?
  • Is a small east coast boutique – whose owner employs a virtual assistant from England and uses accounting software from California – really local?

Now consider this dichotomy of local versus global.  

In response to the 2011 Google choice of Kansas City to serve as its beta test for Google Fiber , Kansas City leaders in government, business, civic, education, arts and the health care sectors set out to envision what a local community looks like when it has unlimited access to the world. Would global access strengthen the local economy?

The National League of Cities in partnership with Next American City, writes in its article “Gig City, U.S.A.: Bringing Google Fiber To Kansas City” that  the combination of strong local involvement with global access creates possibilities such as:

  • Immersive education with interactive Chinese instruction beamed throughout a school district.
  • Health care applications that allow physicians to check the vital signs of severely ill patients remotely.
  • Collaborative research through genomic databases shared by scientists the world over.

So, as you set out to support your local businesses this Saturday, November 24, notice how the lines between local and global have blurred. How many businesses ask you to check them out on Facebook or join their mailing list? How can you learn from future forward businesses by merging local with global in your business?

What do you think? Is local business truly local in a global economy? Let us know, by commenting here on our blog or on our Facebook page.


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