Criteria being defined for "local business"
Shauna Fite, Andy Gale, Rolf VonWalthausen and I met to par down the definition of “local business” recently at MLUI’s Traverse City offices. Parallel metrics of green and local are being used to come up with a description that fills the bill.
The localness could be measured partly in % of raw materials procured within a given range, 300 miles is the suggestion. Also what % of employees live within that range, what % of services used by the business are in that range, and what % of business is owned by a resident with 10 county area – a stricter requirement for ownership. You can be considered local if you make the minimum percentages, probably 51%, still being discussed. There are different levels of localness, so to include, not exclude prospective colleagues. Listing local merchants adjacent to their competitors who are scoring a higher local mark may provide incentive to review their practices. It was noted that twice in the past month small local businesses have paid to be listed in a business directory published by the local paper. There is indeed a demand for marketing local companies compiled in a directory, distinct from the phone book. Something that “stands out” as more unique.
the Green factor has a broader range of metrics: Full spectrum of recycling, reduction/reuse of packaging, water conservation, energy conservation and steps being implemented to enhance these issues, non-toxic, low toxic contents in product, having a program in place to promote walking, biking, bus, or carpooling to work, etc.
I have noticed this blog is being viewed in 9 different countries, in particular many times in Germany, England and Russia. It would be most interesting to hear where they may be on the local discussion.
Next meeting May 4th 5:30 to 7:00 pm at MLUI offices on Front St. in Traverse City.