Benefits of shopping local keep growing

Local shops often incorporate ways to give back in the shopping experience


File Photo

A customer selects from the fresh, local produce available at The Wild Ramp at its former location in Heritage Station.

When it comes to shopping local in Huntington, the choices are almost limitless. Groceries, clothing and gifts are all available from local retailers all within 20 minutes of campus.

Unfortunately, most college students don’t have the budget to shop local for all of these things locally, but if you just commit to buying a few items exclusively local it can make a difference in local economy.

Even restricting shopping for a particular holiday or event to local businesses can help the local economy and make us focus on what is important rather than overpriced gifts.

Bonus, if you can buy locally and your purchase contributes to a charity or other nonprofit, you are helping not only your local economy, but local organizations as well.

Many of the shops at Heritage Station have monthly charities they sponsor. For example, if the featured charity is Facing Hunger Foodbank customers can bring in a can of food for donation and receive 10 percent off their purchase. It’s a win-win. One shop that does charity events like this regularly is Lamb’s Gate Market.

River and Rail Bakery has a suspended coffee program that allows customers to donate to a fund that goes toward hot beverages and food for the homeless or those who otherwise can’t afford it. Knowing you can give back to your community in more ways than one by shopping local is rewarding.

If you can afford it, there is pretty much a local equivalent to anything you would buy at a big-name retail store. Food grown, raised and harvested within a 100-mile radius of Huntington can be found at The Wild Ramp in Old Central City. Clothing items can be purchased in Heritage Station at Finds and Designs and Brand Yourself. Thoughtful gifts handmade by local artisans are almost everywhere you look — The Red Caboose, Huntington Museum of Art and Common Ground Shoppes are all filled with unique, locally sourced gifts for everyone in your life.

The hope with shopping local is that you will feel better about the things you are purchasing for yourself and giving. We live in a consumer culture and it pays in the long run to be a little more conscious about where we spend our money.