The benefits of buying local

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By Jimmy Higdon

Buy local. I think we have all heard of, and are aware of, the movement that is taking place all over the U.S. People are developing a strong interest in supporting small local businesses that bring an individual spin on the retail experience and are tailored to their region.
With Christmas ahead, many of you will be hosting many festivities and family dinners. I hope you will take advantage of the many products and services Kentucky owned businesses offer throughout the region and state, when planning for your events.
Buying local has many advantages. I think we all want to know where our food originates, how it is raised, and what we are ultimately eating. When you buy local, these are not mysteries. Also, the local economy, the retail and agriculture industries, are bolstered from Kentuckians buying Kentucky goods.
Have you checked out the Kentucky Proud program? This program is an innovative way to easily identify and promote Kentucky made products. The Department of Agriculture has a variety of resources providing information on where we can find and purchase Kentucky grown food. If you visit the website, www.kyproud.com, you can find producers close to you and check out what they have to offer. The counties in my district have multiple producers listed, and I know for a fact the quality of products and services of these Kentucky Proud businesses is high.
Buying local also means supporting our local business. It is no secret that competing with the prices of international retailers is difficult, but many of these locally owned retailers win out in other ways such as the interesting and diverse products offered, staff with more product knowledge and better customer service.
This season, as you are tending to your hosting duties and looking for that perfect gift, take advantage of the opportunity you have to invest in the local economy. Visit and support our small businesses here in Kentucky. I think you will be glad you took the time to see what the quality and diverse goods these unique retailers offer.
I appreciate your input, so please call me in Frankfort toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or my home at 270-692-6945 if you have any questions, concerns, or comments. Remember, you can visit the Kentucky Legislature home page at www.lrc.state.ky.us for more information on committee assignments, meeting schedules and more.