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The Big Deal About Local vs Locale

By: A. Localista

Nov. 26, 2009

The Big Deal About Local vs Locale

Dear Localista,
What's the big deal about local businesses? I mean, all businesses that are here are local, aren't they?  Shouldn't we support them all?
Just Curious in Santa Rosa

Dear Just Curious,
There is a difference between 'local' and 'locale'.  You're right, all businesses in Sonoma County are in our 'locale'.  Locale indicates a place, environment or setting, i.e., where all the businesses are situated.

Local means, well, local.  As in native.  Springing up from or originating from here.  The local businesses, in our view, that are owned and operated by folks who live in Sonoma County, are local businesses.

Advantages to our local economy accrue from this distinction.  Maybe you're familiar with the local multiplier effect.  (Read the details here).  In short, local businesses return more economic value to Sonoma County than do businesses owned and operated by global corporations or individuals residing elsewhere.

So, Localistas encourage local residents to support local businesses first.  If you can't, then next in line is to support businesses in our locale.  Next in line after that is supporting businesses in our region, and so on.

It's not so hard really.  Just takes a little practice.  I mean, c'mon, after all, it's not like we're asking you to vote.

Ask a Localista is a new column that features questions from folks like you who want to know more about our local scene.  Maybe you've been trying to find a product or service locally, but just can't find it.  Or maybe you want to know what the heck we're up to.  Our crack research team will set to work to help you.  Submit your questions below in the form and click 'Submit'.


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