What do we mean when we say "drink local"?
At the most basic level, when you drink local more money stays in the community. When you choose a locally-made beer, wine, or spirit over a big national brand, more money stays here in Indiana. Some smart finance people named this the "local economic multiplier effect."
The multiplier has three elements — the direct, indirect, and induced impacts.
"Direct Impact" is spending done by a business in the local economy to operate the business. Direct impact spending includes inventory, utilities, equipment and pay to employees. Let's say you buy a local craft spirit at the liquor store instead of a bottle of Grey Goose or Tito's. It's around the same price - our bottles are usually around 25 bucks - but the purchase impact is much greater. The money spent on a bottle of Cardinal Spirits goes directly into growing our local economy. We use some of that money to buy grain from farmers in Columbus, Lebanon, and all over the state. We use some of it to buy boxes from Columbus Container. Most importantly, we use the majority of it to pay a living wage to the twenty-odd Hoosiers on our payroll.
"Indirect Impact" happens as dollars the local business spent at other area businesses re-circulate. The money we spend on the corn from Glick in Columbus is in turn spent by them to pay for local services. The money we spend to buy coffee from Hopscotch is in turn spent by them to expand their coffee shop. They hire local designers, contractors, and carpenters.
"Induced Impact" is when employees and business owners reuse their income in the local economy. Our employees use their wages to buy food at the Bloomington farmers market. That, in turn, pays for seeds and farm labor. We go out to dinner at local restaurants, which starts the cycle all over again
All the money from that sale stays in Indiana, and multiplies over and over and over again. Drinking Local is a virtuous cycle, and continually improves the community. The alternative, buying a product made somewhere far away, means that dollar is just a dollar.
Even if you don't care about the economic multiplier, there are many more tangible reasons:
Support non-profits: Small businesses contribute 250% more to local non-profits than large businesses.
Keep your city unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- it all makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases, requiring less transportation. They generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
Create more good jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in Indiana. We provide the most jobs to Hoosiers.
We stick around: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
Less tax burden: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
Better selection: A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a corporate national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
Drinking local means you recirculate a far greater amount of money locally compared to the mass-produced spirits, beer, and wine. Drinking local creates more local wealth and jobs right where you live. When you buy from an independent local distiller or brewer, more of your money stays in the community.
Drink local, drink craft.