A Better Billings by Buying Local

Mountain shirts and hats Billings Montana

The Easiest Investment You Will Ever Make

We spend money on the things we love.  If you have a family, you probably spend money on them.  If you are an avid hunter, you probably spend money on hunting gear.  In many cases you probably spend more than usual because you want the best products or services around.

When it comes to buying goods, we want to get a great deal.  Big retailers know this, and because they have massive stores across the country they can discount their items dramatically.  Large online retailers know this, and because they don’t have brick and mortar buildings to maintain, they drop prices dramatically too.  But with the race to the bottom comes two problems: low quality products that don’t last, and money rapidly leaving our local economy.

Fortunately, there is a way to fix these issues.  And it all starts right next door.

Small Businesses are the Backbone of America

Take a look at your next door neighbor.  There’s a good chance that he or she works for a small business.  If they don’t, then you’re probably the one that works for a small business.  Studies show that roughly half of all employed Americans work for a small business, and those businesses account for nearly half of the GDP for the entire United States.  So when we say it starts next door, we mean it literally starts next door.

When You Shop Local, You Support Yourself

montana shirtsThe issues that we run into with large corporations that produce cheap products is that we concentrate wealth into the economies where these businesses are headquartered (or where their executives live).  Wouldn’t you rather support yourself?

Shopping local keeps more money in the local economy (studies show that for every $100 spent at a small business keeps $68 in the local economy; only $43 stays put when supporting corporate).  That’s money that can go back into other local small businesses and help the cycle to continue.

But wait, there’s more!

Spending money here, and keeping money here, means that our community is supported.  It means taxes are paid to support things we can all get behind like fixing our roads, plowing in the winter and de-icing the intersections, building new parks and recreational areas that everyone can enjoy, funding emergency services, and bringing in even more small businesses to help make the local economy more and more robust!

We can all get behind the idea of a better and nicer place to live just by shopping locally.

More Jobs; Better Jobs

Supporting local businesses goes beyond supporting the owner of that local business.  Let’s take Aspinwall as an example.

Derek and Lucy Aspinwall have poured their lives into building a brand built on quality, durability, and love of the mountains.  Running a business takes up a lot of time, so they have hired others to manage the store.  They have me keep their blog going, suppliers providing goods, pay rent for a local shop, support other downtown shops by being in the area and buying their goods.  You can see how it snowballs, and all you did was chose to buy a better quality article of clothing.

Resist the Attack of the Clones

Everybody is an individual.  Everyone has their own style that is unique to them.  But how unique can you get when you buy a t-shirt that has millions of replicas out there?  Is it really unique to throw on a sweatshirt that has a brand on it, just like hundreds of thousands of other people around the country?  What about putting on your Aspinwall shirt that only has 20 copies in existence?

Creating a product that is unique is easy to do when you only deal in small batches.  That sort of thing isn’t possible for the big companies.

Exercise your right to be unique, resist the clones, shop local.

Aspinwall shirts Montana shirts

Support the Montana that You Love

Buying a locally produced product means that you are having a minimal impact on the environment (you can see our previous blogs on that subject).

Lower impact on the environment means that we get to enjoy a pristine and beautiful Montana for many years into the future.

Buying clothing from Aspinwall Mountain Wear means that you get clothing that will last a whole lot longer than the cheap one you grabbed off the rack, or clicked to add to your cart from a huge corporation.

Shop local.  Support yourself.  Make life better where you live.