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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Local Economic Activity

The economic impact of buying, making, and doing things locally is important to the vitality of any community.  Many studies have shown financial gains for a local economy that can increase its local activities, even a little.  The significant benefits of local production or processing are obvious, but often ignored in favor of getting the best cash price from a distant source with real but hidden costs.  In a global economy, it is easy to be “penny wise, and pound foolish.” Alternatively, sturdy independence fits Rogers City's cultural heritage and already has significant support among residents.  Doing things locally is a time-tested path to:

• Job creation

• A healthier community

• Increased profits to local business owners (not a bad thing!)

• Stimulating downtown development and renewal

• More local services such as shopping

• Easing transportation demands

While these reasons alone are sufficient to encourage local activity, the long term benefits of becoming more resilient and community focused are pure gold.

Below are examples of some low-cost action to increase local activity:

o Buy local campaign

o Improved farmers market

o Increased back-yard gardening, home beautification, and home energy efficiency

o Expansion of biking and walking activity/infrastructure

o Development of community gardens for children and senior citizens.

Other initiatives that may require significant cost and investigation include:

 Comprehensive review of City regulatory policy to encourage business and entrepreneurship

 A local public transit system (expansion of Council on Aging Bus Service)

 Increased local "clean" energy production

 Incentive program(s) for business (such as facade improvements)

 Local production development (using recycled material or agriculture)

Local production development projects may take years to study and implement; however, sometimes grant funds are available for private/public partnerships to create, for example, a recycling process project or biodiesel production from local wood products.

Large and small scale local economic activity will benefit Rogers City.  We are open for business.

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