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The hidden danger of buying exclusively from local suppliers?

A shopper transports his purchases by bike on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

It has become very noble for individuals and companies to buy from businesses located in their own state. It is an almost romantic philosophy that by supporting local companies everyone is better off. As gallant as this sounds it may not always be the best practice.

Consider this fable:

One morning, a passerby saw the butterfly struggling to break free from its cocoon. Taking pity on the insect he decided to help the little creature escape the confines of its existence. He reached down and gently removed the remaining cocoon away from the young butterfly.

The grateful butterfly looked up at the man and said he would now reward the man by showing him his beautiful new wings. However, as the butterfly attempted to flutter and fly, he found he could not do so.

“In your kindness, dear sir,” said the former caterpillar, “you have robbed me of the ability to strengthen my muscles and now I will die.”

When we blindly buy from a company because of its location we rob that company of its ability to build and strengthen its sales muscle. Yes, it is good for the local economy when businesses support each other. However, it is not good to do so without that business having to earn your business through providing value and customer service.

Sure, support local businesses that do not let them take your business for granted is if you do, they will surely die.

©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.

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