Living on a tight budget, my husband and I don’t utilize too many services on a regular basis. We clean the house, do the yardwork and try to troubleshoot and fix any problems that come up on our own. But, there is always something that comes up and we can’t always do everything. When it comes to services, I wouldn’t even think twice about selecting a local provider. Many industries are just naturally locally-owned. However, there are some services you may not think of a local provider for, or some you may not have needed yet. Here is a sample of services you can locally source and tips on how to "keep it localer."
Instead of Supercuts, Dry Bar, and Massage Envy, support your local hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and spas. I go to Well Beauty for hair and nails, and Dusty can be found at Hank’s and Lakeside Barber Shop most frequently.
Health & Wellness
Doctors, dentists, optometrists and specialists. These are rather hard to not keep local, but you’d be surprised what’s out there. As more and more “virtual visit” services come on board, local providers are utilizing technology for more accessible patient care.
Skip Stanley Steamer, Roto-Rooter, Terminex and the like. Support your local contractors, plumbers, electricians, yard services, cleaning services and security providers. We had to have our roof replaced this year and Jenco Roofing was so patient with our pesky insurance process. We’ve used Acenetic for yard treatment, and Crown Plumbing was kind enough to tell us we’d be better off to do a project ourselves and gave us advice about how to do it.
Mechanics, dealerships, detail and repair shops. Dealerships may represent a national brand, but many are locally-owned and operated. I happen to work for one, and my entire job is focused on giving back to the community. Do your homework to make sure your area dealerships are locally owned and invest in your community. Get your routine maintenance done by a trusted, locally owned dealer or mechanic.
Groomers, veterinarians. Instead of Petsmart, support your local vets and groomers. Check out my pets blog for recommendations
Dry cleaners, tailors, shoe repair. A great way to support these services is to just get your shoes and clothes repaired rather than just purchasing new ones. You can support a local service and go easy on the earth and your budget at the same time. I use Dee’s Boot Repair and Helena’s Tailoring.
Banks, Credit Unions, CPAs, Investment services. Local banks and credit unions have been working to update their technology to compete with major financial institutions. Anything you can do with Chase or Bank of America, you can do with a locally-owned institution. I actually took the free Financial Peace class offered by Oklahoma’s Credit Union which helped us become debt-free! I’ve enjoyed the events they sponsor, and the great things Citizen’s Bank of Edmond has been doing for the community.
I know I have missed so many categories, but these are the services that come to mind for our day-to-day and month-to-month lives. Build relationships, get to know your providers and keep supporting them. With technology distancing us from interacting with people and a retail climate that is difficult to thrive in, services are so important to keep locally-owned.
What does shopping more local mean for a millenial(ish) couple who are striving to have a more minimal lifestyle when it comes to material things?
Services go hand-in hand. Get things fixed, don’t buy new and enjoy the experiences offered by local service providers.
What is the feasibility of a commitment to shop local for those that do not have much flexibility or resources? For the single mom, the family living paycheck to paycheck, the person without access to reliable transportation?
Local services providers are much more inclined to be flexible on price for someone who may be in need. Many travel as well!