There are numerous ways to define what is "local" based on ownership and geographic location. Local isn't a black and white concept - it is a spectrum.
Generally, more money stays in the local community the higher up on the following list you are.
* Locally owned, independent businesses
* Locally owned franchisees or licensees of a national entity
* Non locally owned entities selling products or services from a local brick and mortar facility
* Non locally owned entities selling products online
However, there are exceptions to every rule. The Sustainable Business Council has a few members that are locally owned franchisees or licensees of a national entity that buy significant amounts of locally made products and services. Conversely, some locally owned independents sell no locally made products.
Ideally, you would make as many purchases as possible of locally made products or services sold by locally based employees from locally-owned entities - or as close to that as you can get.
Any increases in "local" in your purchasing makes a difference in the dollars that remain in the community. See if you can work your way up the list with a few of your purchases in the next month.
Finding a Locally-Owned Business
Think Local, Buy Local is an educational initiative of Missoula’s Sustainable Business Council designed to connect business and community and to highlight the economic benefits of buying locally. To find a business that meets your shopping needs either look for our logo in the window of participating businesses or search our online Business Directory on the right.
Criteria for participating in the Buy Local campaign
- More than 50% of the owners or members of the entity must be Montana residents.
- The entity is registered as a domestic entity with the State of Montana.
- And the local owners have substantial control over the entity's choice of name, purchasing, operating, and marketing decisions.
The last category has some flexibility. Our primary goal is help you make informed decisions, so we provide information about ownership where possible. To see which locally owned business members are independent and which are franchisees or licensees, please see the SBC Members page or the individual pages for each member in the drop down list at the right.
For further membership information, please see Membership Information & Benefits.