New Book Helps Consumers Start Their Own Shop Local Movement

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Author Heidi Butzine is on a personal mission to get more people to shop local by showing them how easy it is to do and why it matters. Her new book, which recently reached best-seller status in the money management category at Amazon, gives readers the tools to learn how to shop local in a way that works for their own lifestyle and budget.

Shopping or buying local is not about spending more money, it’s about spending the money you have more wisely...

Countless studies done over the past decade have shown the economic, social and environmental benefits that local independent businesses have on our communities, but how can we actually shop local without driving ourselves crazy or going broke? That’s exactly what best-selling author, entrepreneur and shop local maven, Heidi Butzine helps readers discover in her new book, SHOP LOCAL: A Practical Pain-Free Guide to Shopping with Purpose (Simplex Publishing, July 2012, paperback/$14.95, ebook/$8.95).

“Shopping or buying local is not about spending more money, it’s about spending the money you have more wisely,” says Heidi, a reformed big-box shopper herself. “Even the smallest change in our habits as consumers can make a significant difference in the local economy.” She continues, “People will still buy from big chains and shop online but the secret is to balance it out by also supporting local businesses.”

Heidi, a Southern California born-and-raised native, decided three years ago to leave the corporate world and go into business for herself. Inspired by the local businesses and entrepreneurs in the community where she lives and works, she has made it her personal mission to get more people to shop local. But before you start to shop local, there are a few things you must do.

“The first thing you must do is set some goals. They don’t have to be huge, but setting goals makes it real,” says Heidi. “Once you commit to those goals, then it’s about making subtle shifts in your actions. Start by making one of your frequent purchases from a local indie place. Or shift part of your normal spending allowance to buy from the locally-owned businesses in your neighborhood. This gets the ball rolling - then you can set bigger goals.”

While setting goals may sound simple enough, this is only one part of the shop local roadmap that Heidi shares for readers to shift spending to their local businesses. “When I first started my own shop local shift, I had so many questions like: Where should I shop? Who’s locally owned? What should I spend?” Heidi laughs and says, “I got so obsessive about it, I started looking for how I could buy anything from plywood to underwear from local indie businesses. I realized that I needed to keep it simple by focusing on five areas that I could easily shift away from retail chains. I needed to find ways to stay inspired and on track with my budget and goals. And I needed to feel that I was making a difference.”

She also points out that the only way to get more people to buy locally is to help them find a way that works for them and has value. “People will shop local only if it meets their needs, whether that’s time, comfort, money or enjoyment.” She continues, “Understanding our values and knowing why we buy helps us become more mindful about how we shop.”

Heidi goes into great detail in her book not only about the benefits of shopping local and why it matters but also the different ways that local indie businesses and retail chains affect their communities —like the fact that local independents reinvest four times as much money into their neighborhoods. She also provides plenty of tips on everything from where to find your local indie businesses, to deciding which spending areas you can shift locally, to how to manage budget goals, to setting daily intentions and creating meaningful spending habits, to what you can do to enhance your experience when you shop local.

Her final piece of advice? Don’t beat yourself up when you have to shop at the non-indie places. It may not be possible to find absolutely everything you need locally. “Being a shop local maven is something I work on every day,” says Heidi, “but the secret is to stay focused on your priorities, reach your goals and have fun with it.”

For more information on shopping local, to order your copy of the book, or to invite Heidi to speak to your organization about how to learn, live and love to shop local, go to her website at http://www.heidibutzine.com. The book is also available from online retailers or your favorite bookstore.

About Simplex Publishing: Simplex Publishing is an independent publisher dedicated to publishing books and other media that inspire us to improve ourselves and our communities through learning and self-discovery. For more information, visit http://www.simplexpublishing.com.

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