We all know Rhode Island is small, yet within these small borders Rhode Island’s resources are abundant. What’s more, the small size means the state's abundance is easily accessible. From farms to fitness, fish to furniture, reap the harvest of Rhode Island's local and independently owned businesses. Forget small and start to think local!
Buying locally means injecting revenue into every community statewide, with Rhode Islanders benefitting from returns on these local investments. According to the 10% Shift initiative, even redirecting 10% of typical spending can provide a valuable boost to local economies. The national 3/50 Project invites local consumers to devote $50 of spending to three local establishments monthly. Whether the transaction is $50 or $5, building community support translates into economic viability statewide. Rhode Island as a whole benefits from the profits generated by locally owned businesses.
Recently, The Providence Journal recognized the success of Farm Fresh RI, connecting Rhode Islanders to fresh and locally grown agricultural products at farmers markets and restaurants across the state. Edible Rhody profiles the growing community of local establishments serving the bounty from Rhode Island farms and fisheries.
Many Rhode Island communities offer regular farmers’ markets and local buying initiatives to motivate local commerce. Hope Street on Providence’s East Side boasts a close-knit organization of locally owned shops and restaurants driving commerce on their equivalent of Main Street. As Rhode Island agriculture (both land and sea-based) continues to expand, so will the opportunities for Rhode Islanders to capitalize on this abundance of local produce.
The impact of these initiatives multiplies throughout the state, from the local producers, to the local vendors, and finally to Main Streets within every community.
Is there a local initiative in your community that you think we should know about?
to spread the word.
How It All Began
Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Chair of the Small Business Advocacy Council, launched the website for the statewide initiative Buy Local RI, at a press conference and reception on August 13, 2008 at the State House.
Buy Local RI launched that year with a public awareness campaign encouraging Rhode Islanders to support locally owned, independent businesses. The Buy Local RI initiative created a working group which developed this website, dedicated to expanding the market for local businesses and products by connecting consumers and businesses to Rhode Island businesses. During the enrollment phase, all Rhode Island-based independent businesses were encouraged to sign up for a free listing. Once businesses had signed up, a searchable database of local businesses was created to help consumers and other Rhode Island businesses “buy local.”
The website launch also unveiled the new logo for Buy Local RI. The winning logo was chosen from among more then 80 submissions by local designers to a statewide competition earlier this year. In addition to the winning logo, many of the design submissions were also on display.
Refreshments, services and displays provided by local business sponsors were featured at the reception including Dave’s Market, Eastside Marketplace, Glasswing Design, Greenvale Vineyards, Left Brain, New Harvest Coffee Roasters, Trinity Beer, Warwick Ice Cream, and Yacht Club Beverages.
The web site continues to grow and the campaign has undoubtedly inspired other city and town "buy local" campaigns, seasonal shopping and trolley tours throughout the state.