.Localized: Janeen Murray

Being a bit obvious, I had to launch this “Locals” column with Janeen Murray, director of Go Local, a cooperative that supports 400 North Bay businesses and nonprofits.

Cincinnatus Hibbard: Tell us something unexpected about yourself.

Janeen Murray: I am an accordion player in the Hubbub Club marching band.

CH: Amazing! Janeen, besides co-branding with the iconic, Go Local logo, what services do you provide to your co-op members?

JM: Advertising, market research, networking lunches, and listing on our website and printed pocket guide. Made Local Magazine highlights the stories behind local businesses.

CH: Though I have been trained to say it, why should we support local?

JM: Supporting local is like planting seeds with rich soil. So that more vibrant things grow in our community. We’re not a monoculture. We’re a beautiful diversity.

CH: That is a lush and poetic vision of our community. Could you bullet point some benefits?

JM: There is the economic multiplier effect. Local purchases lead to local purchases lead to local wealth. Money spent at online mega-retailers shoots up out of the community like a helium balloon and is gone. Also, there is less inequality and inequity in communities with more local businesses. There’s more employment, better jobs. There are ecological benefits to local too—compare the carbon of a light truck driving 20 minutes versus a 16-wheeler truck driving eight hours to deliver the same fruit.

CH: Wow. Those are the great issues of our time, all helped by our local purchases. Janeen, is “Go Corporate” winning?

JM: Yes, for now. Our local economy is severely and dramatically threatened by global corporate companies.

CH: There doesn’t seem to be a week where social media doesn’t announce the closure of an iconic local business. Each hurts our sense of place. Janeen, is there room for hope?

JM: There is! Seventy percent of the local economy is local consumer spending. That means we’re in the driver seat. It’s our choice what future we have.

CH: What is your most important call to action?

JM : Move your money to a local bank. They invest in local businesses. National banks don’t.

CH: What is the motto of Go Local?

JM: “We are stronger together.”

Learn more: This interview is taken from a longer audio interview available at ‘Sonoma County: A Community Portrait’ on Apple, Google and Spotify podcasts. linktr.ee/cincinnatushibbard.


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