June 5, 2007 “Comeback of all things local”
I keep hearing about America shipping more and more manufacturing jobs overseas (to China), and the American economy becoming more dependent on foreign countries. I agree with some of this, but not to the extent as the sky-is-falling-critics (you know who you are).
Anyhow, it appears in the midst of this global economy there is a growing demand for local products. Trendwatching, a great independent firm that seeks to forecast consumer trends (through their 8,000 “trendspotters”), has an interesting analysis called (STILL) MADE HERE. They define the (Still) Made Here trend as a comeback of all things local, all things with a sense of place, and how they’re surfacing in a world dominated by globalization. Or to quote Trendwatching, “a growing number of consumers are seeking out the local, and thereby the authentic, the storied, the eco-friendly and the obscure.”
Obviously this doesn’t signal the end of globalization, but it does create an interesting discussion regarding the future economy and the role of municipal economic development. Cities play a vital role in assisting local businesses; the health and development of locally owned stores are definitely an area of economic development where municipal governments have significant influence.