Where would you go to get something if it was not available from the local big box store? What would you do if the things you rely on mega-retailers to provide for you were not available or were too expensive to ship from thousands of miles away. How will you feed and clothe yourself if the mall or the shopping center is closed?
In this era of ever increasing demand for oil, gargantuan deficit spending, and economic turbulence around the world, the possibility of rampant inflation, shortages, or simple unavailability are very real. The simple and immediate way to prepare yourself from such risks is to begin establishing local networks for the things you need as quickly as possible.
A local network is one where a good or a service comes completely from local sources, at least as much as possible. Such a network uses local raw materials, local labor, and sells the good or service with a primary focus on local customers. While such networks are hard to find in our globalized economy, they do still exist and, more importantly, they spring into existence very quickly when there is a demand.
The first place to look for such networks is at your local farmers’ market. In addition to selling locally produced food, many markets also sell other locally produced goods and services. Beyond the farmers’ market, good places to look for local networks include the downtown business areas of small towns. Another way to establish such networks is to seek out people who you know buy locally and find out where they are buying.
If you are an individual or a business who is a local producer, I want to hear from you. I want to start building local networks by connecting local producers with local consumers through profiles and dedicated websites and publications for that purpose. If you are interested in getting your name out that way, contact me.