Chicken Scratch

Hi, there! I'm Red, the Buy Local RI chicken, and this is Chicken Scratch, your monthly source for all the egg-cellent ways you can support your fellow Rhode Islanders. Why should you Buy Local RI? Great question! We could give you a dozen reasons, but we'll start with three. We wouldn't want to put all our eggs in one basket, would we?

The Buy Local RI campaign has served as a seasonal reminder to shop locally during the holiday season for nearly 20 years. The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau has taken over the initiative and now, with the support of the Rhode Island Foundation and Dave's Fresh Marketplace, Buy Local RI is a year-round celebration of the incredible gifts, treats and experiences available from small businesses throughout the state.

Shopping locally provides lots of benefits to you and the community, but let's take a look at three of them. From one-of-a-kind finds and experiences to strengthening area communities and lowering harmful emissions, everybody wins big when you shop small.

1. Discover Unique Gifts & Experiences

Jordan's Jungle

Local small businesses like boutique shops, artisanal stores, or family-owned restaurants can offer a unique and personalized shopping or dining experience you won't find in larger commercial chains. Plus, if you're on the hunt for a meaningful keepsake, locally made crafts, artwork or treats will serve as genuine lasting reminders of the Ocean State.

2. Empower Rhode Island's Economy

Buy Local Homestyle

Supporting local businesses also contributes directly to the local economy and helps support Rhode Island's small business community. Small businesses are the Ocean State's largest employer and keeping money within the community helps create jobs, boosts wages and ultimately strengthens the state's economy.

3. Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

Newport Vineyards

Finally, not only is shopping local good for the community, but it's also good for the environment. Locally owned businesses make more local purchases, meaning less transportation, lower energy and fuel costs, and less excessive packaging.

So, are you ready to visit some awesome Rhode Island small businesses but don't know where to start? Visit the Buy Local RI page for "100 Ways to Buy Local" with suggestions from all corners of the state. There's an assortment of things to do, dishes to eat, places to stay and goods to be bought.

Those suggestions are just a beginning — there are hundreds of other ways to support local businesses. Don't forget to follow @buylocalri on Instagram for even more shopping inspiration and share your best local finds with #BuyLocalRI!