If 10% of customers shifted their spending to local businesses, it could have the following effects:
- Up to $235,000,000 would remain local.
- 1,600 jobs would be created.
“Rooted is an intimate look into the locally owned businesses, people and organizations committed to undoing the impact of globalization on our economy and our community. By featuring their stories, Rooted posits that the best hope for a fully revitalized local economy — one that creates quality jobs and builds real prosperity for all — comes from the ground-up. Find out what it means to be a Localist.”
After watching the documentary, I had the opportunity to sit down with Kyle Toth, the filmmaker of Rooted and Digital Producer at Mainstreethost.
Q: Where does the problem of multinational companies accumulating more business than local stores stem from?
A: One major reason is the ability that these multinational companies have to really saturate the market with their image. They have larger budgets for marketing, and it really works to pull in customers.
I think the second reason would have to be consumer knowledge. Just simply asking a consumer, “Where does the money go?”¬Ä¬Ě would leave an uneducated consumer dead in their tracks. It’s a simple question that people need to know the correct answer to. It’¬Ä¬ôs very important for your hard-earned dollars to go back into your community so that it has a chance to grow.
Q: How do you shop locally and what are the benefits for you?
A: I helped run a local skate shop called Phatman Boardshop for a little over six years. I had a close relationship with the owner, employees, and of course our customers. Any time I needed shirts printed for an event or for resale, I would use three different local screen printers. In return I found these store owners stopping in, chatting and spending some money at the shop. Simply said, if you spend your money locally, it will most likely come right back to you in some form.
Q: How long did Rooted take to film?
A: Filming was a seven-month process and editing took three months. All said and done I spent about ten months on the entire project.
Q: Were all of the business owners cooperative?
A: When you’¬Ä¬ôre an owner of a small business, you really take advantage of any publicity you can get. So every single business owner that I proposed the idea of an interview to was very responsive and excited about it.
Q: How did you get the panoramic shots of traffic?
A: The time-lapse footage of the city was shot over an entire summer. I used a canon DSLR and a GoPro camera. These long duration time lapses would take over an hour, so it was a good time to chill out and enjoy the city as the sun was setting.
The overhead shots of traffic were actually taken from the observation deck at city hall. The observation deck has 10-feet-high sheets of glass so that you can’¬Ä¬ôt fall or jump off, but right on the floor are little triangular openings so I had to set my cameras in there in order to get the shot. Once the camera angle was set, I set my camera to take a photo every five seconds. I would use these images and create a video out of it in POST.
After talking to Kyle, I thought it would be important to readdress the overall theme of the documentary, which is the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.
Social responsibility demonstrates local businesses having the same social issues as the consumers. Local businesses that buy locally instead of just buying the cheapest option possible help the community’¬Ä¬ôs relationship grow.
Keeping the environment stable and not wasting resources plays a major role in the development and sustainability of a community. Transporting products across the world burns up fuel and damages the earth. Transportation can be avoided by buying locally.
Local economics are an essential priority because growth and circulation of money in local businesses create the strength and backbone of the area. Four times more money stays in the community when it is spent at local businesses rather than multinational corporations.
How is this applying to Buffalo right now?
The Balle Conference was held in Buffalo last week. It’s a group meeting where local businesses from all across the U.S gather to create networks and share ideas to help each other prosper.