Permanent signs erected by the Baltinglass & District Forum at the entrances to Baltinglass will exhort motorists to ‘Shop Local!’ and there are some pretty compelling reasons for following the forum’s advice.
With the threat of fuel going up soon by 63 percent, travelling to another town to buy necessities (and luxuries) just doesn’t make sense, when the minor savings elsewhere are offset against the cost of travelling there and back.
The Automobile Association reinforces that point with its latest figures on the current cost of driving a small family car (omitting the cost of car insurance, mark you) which includes petrol, oil, tyres, service, repairs and replacement, setting it at an average of 23 cents a kilometre.
If you drive from Baltinglass to Newry for a shopping splurge (a distance from Baltinglass of 366 km there and back) you must add €84 to your purchases.
For a Baltinglass to Newbridge junket (70 km both ways) add another €16.
But there are other important community reasons for shopping locally. Michael H Shuman, author of the book ‘Going Local’ and quoted in a study by Michigan State University writes “Going local --- means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. --- Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs” (Shuman 2000)
So support local business. Shop local and save money along the way.
William Paterson, December 2011