Written by Blake Cadwell, Co-Founder at The Good Trade

We’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a business “good”. Everyday we see the remarkable impact of brands that give back, employ the underprivileged or pioneer transparency. These are the companies that give us reason to believe that the little purchase decisions we make each day are actually shaping a new economy.

The more we talk about this new wave of business though, the more we are coming to realize that some of the greatest impact is being made in the shops, cafes and farmers markets right in our own neighborhood.

It’s really no surprise that it is local entrepreneurs who are able to cut through the clutter of distraction, pressure and ambition to see the real people that their business can touch. It’s no surprise that the way they source their products, treat their vendors and hire employees comes with a natural transparency and accountability. If you think about it, these are the entrepreneurs that are most likely to transform our cities and bring them into a new era of thoughtful innovation.

Shopping local nearly always means less environmental impact, more transparency and fairer labor practices. Beyond that though, local commerce gives us a connection to our home and neighbors. It gives us a way to support the people we share a home with and a practical way to shape our lives around products that match our values.

We believe that every dollar we spend is a vote for something. That’s the idea that continues to drive our search for social entrepreneurs and it’s the one that is fueling our search for thoughtful local commerce.