We've done numerous postings on small businesses and buying local in the past. Most of the buying local trend in the past has been encouraging consumers to shop at small local stores such as in the 3/50 Project. Now comes a new article from Business Week that takes a very different approach describing a new trend of some small business groups encouraging big buyers such as hospital, colleges, and governments to shift some of their spending to small businesses in their community. The article gives several examples of the big impact that can have on local economies and also provides some advantages to the large institutions for more buying local.
Imagine if you had a vacuum shop located near a hospital and were able to persuade them to purchase some of your product line. The lowest price might not always be the only factor in getting the business. In the article they describe how University Hospitals in Ohio state factors such as superior service or the location of a supplier are big factors for them. Think about dropping off a vacuum for repair and having a very quick turn around , instead of sending it back to the vendor for repair or just junking it and replacing it. That is just one advantage for large institutions to buying local and we're sure you can think of many more.