Buying American-Made Can Bring It Back
The gradual move from the Industrial Age into the Information Age has had a drastic effect on communities globally. Locations that provided work through mining and manufacturing have taken a knock, unemployment and despair is rife in places that were once vibrant and full of hope. It has been recognized that the greatest remedy to stagnant economies is the rise of small and medium enterprises, in the United States.
The 2012 U.S. Census found that companies that employ less than 500 people made up 99.7% of the 5.73 million employer firms in the U.S. Clearly small businesses are what is needed to stimulate growth, and what small businesses need is support from us as the consumer.
Detroit, a Case in Point
A test case for supporting local, U.S.-based businesses is Detroit. The Economic Innovation Group has ranked Detroit as the most distressed city in the United States, based on a number of criteria. The glory days of the motor industry are over, resulting in bankruptcy for the city.
According to Michael Bloomberg, this is not necessarily a bad thing. He compares Detroit to New York in the 1970s, and believes that Detroit too can have a renaissance. Indeed, this seems to be happening. CNBC reported in March, 2016 that small businesses were contributing to Detroit’s revival. According to the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, some 125 restaurants and retailers have opened since 2013.
Facilitating the Growth
Of course, in order to achieve such growth, stimulation and removal of barriers to entry is crucial. This has happened in our test city, through measures such as:
- A low personal and corporate tax rate
- An innovation hub, TechTown
- Investment in startups and small businesses by entities such as J P Morgan
When small businesses start growing, investments by larger businesses is soon attracted.
Similar exciting projects can be found in other towns and cities throughout the US. In Memphis, Tennessee, WREG-TV reported in May 2016 that Google has provided small businesses in that city with free websites for a year. This will really help these businesses grow, as it is estimated that nearly 60% of small businesses in Memphis currently do not have a website.
While many cities across the nation are facing downturns, the rise of American-Made product investment can and will produce a surge in small to medium sized businesses. With this surge will come a strengthening of our local economies, thus, leading to a strengthening of our independence.
Recreating America’s Greatness
One of the pitfalls of the last 30 years is the gradual outsourcing and downsizing of products and services, as well as mergers and acquisitions of competitor companies. This has resulted in a loss of skills and a reduction of choice in the products that are available to us as consumers.
Outsourcing manufacturing means that the skills required to produce the product are gradually lost. These skills are replaced with alternative skills prevalent in other job opportunities.
Bringing back small businesses into the fold helps fill the gaps left by the outsourcing or complete closure of work that previously could be fulfilled by American workers. It also restores our independence, if the skills we lost are being reintroduced into our nation’s job market.
It can be done.
Look at what the incomparable W. Edwards Deming did for Japan, and for anyone who prizes quality today. We must ensure that we have a comprehensive cross-set of skills and applied knowledge that reduces or removes our reliance on foreign countries, and with them, our reliance on foreign goods.
How We Can Help
Small businesses tend to sell to the communities that surround them. This has additional benefits in that the footprint of such a business is relatively green, and does not generate extensive shipping and distribution costs.
We can all do our part by buying local.
Every time you support a business in your area which is producing American-Made products, the money is going back straight into your local economy, helping to create more employment opportunities. In cities like Detroit, more than 227,000 jobs have been created since 2009.
Naturally, if you help local businesses grow, the benefits will accrue back to your own business. More jobs created means more consumers – for everyone.
This paradigm can be expanded to your buying decisions with large retailers as well. Be conscious of the origins of the products you are purchasing. This can be complex, especially when you are buying technological products with several different OEMs supplying the components.
What You Can Do Now
Do not hesitate to ask whether a product is American-Made. Try not to shop purely on price, as local product earnings return back to our economy – but do not assume that local goods are more expensive. It is safe to assume, however, that American-Made products are held to a much higher standard of construction, and therefore, are a much higher quality product.
If you are looking for American made products, start your search with AmericanMadeMatters.com and shop with our members, all selling products that are produced right here in America.