I live in East Nashville, one of the most tight-knit communities in all of the city. The neighborhood has a reputation for being fiercely loyal to local businesses, and many incredible niche shops, bars, and restaurants have opted to take risks here because of it.
While I'd vastly prefer to spend my hard earned dollars with a neighbor over some faceless corporation, I'm hesitant to blindly support an establishment based solely on its location.
For example, even though we have a fantastic local grocery store, I often shop at Kroger because it's less expensive and I'm able to earn 6% cash back with my AmEx. That being said, there's a specialty market opening on my street this month and I'm positive I'll be shopping there sometimes, regardless of the price, out of sheer convenience and being one of the only places in Nashville to buy fresh fish.
When is comes to splurging on a dinner out, I'll almost always opt for a local restaurant over a chain. Local restaurants tend to take more pride in their food, use more seasonal ingredients, and are generally more delicious! Also, chains are not always cheaper.
Regardless of whether or not I can afford to spend money with all of the wonderful and eclectic businesses in East Nashville, I try to support them however I can (word of mouth, etc.) Having so many of them in close proximity to my house not only increases the value of my home, but also the quality of my life.
Readers: How far are you willing to go to buy local?