As the Christmas season rolls in, thoughts often go to spending. There will be purchases of gifts, Christmas food ingredients, and in some cases, cooked food to celebrate with. It is at Christmas when we clearly see and feel how the things and the services we pay for will have a positive impact on the local economy. The more we spend in the local economy, the more local businesses and their employees will benefit. During the height of the pandemic, we really saw how buying local goods and services helped many businesses survive
As people earn and spend, and as enterprises continue to operate, the economy moves. As a result, as these enterprises grow, the economy also grows. This translates to more jobs and more local tax collections. It is therefore important that an environment conducive to economic activity be maintained so that businesses keep expanding.
For us in the private sector, apart from spending more in the local economy, there are a few other things you can do to help boost local economic growth.
One way is to help promote local products through social media. When you post a picture of a product you appreciate on your social media feeds, positive words spread and can encourage others to buy. This is especially true for very creative products since they catch the eye.
Planting more vegetables can also help. Since this can be easily done in pots or empty grounds even in urban areas, having more locally grown food will help temper local inflation. In turn, this can help fight local hunger and ensure food for everyone. Lower inflation can improve the earnings of other economic players such as small businesses and individuals, since people will have more money to spend on other things when food prices are lower. That said, a consistent effort to lower food inflation will bear fruit long after, and keep inflation low over time.
GSP + Renewal
The recent support shown by the European Parliament and council for the renewal of the European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences GSP+ scheme for four years will benefit many Filipino exporters (https://mb.com.ph/2023/11/23/eccp-dti-back-eu-gsp-scheme-extension). If approved, this will extend opportunities for many local exports to make their way to Europe.
The deeper question we need to answer is what can be done to increase the volume of exports to Europe? One suggestion is to promote Filipino products through social media. Social and online media, including video platforms, can promote products and tell the product’s story to the market. The truth is that many of these products are made in the midst of the beautiful scenery of the Philippines.
A deep appreciation of how these products are made and how the income derived supports local communities will attract many buyers. Many products that will have higher demand in Europe include coconut-based products such as coconut water and milk, local coffee, and chocolate products. Locally-made art will surely find patrons in Europe. As Filipinos, let us take the lead in promoting such products and the use of locally-made exportable ingredients among our foreign friends. This will be a big help for local farms and entrepreneurs. This will help boost the local economy.