By Tim Inkpen

Since the financial crisis of 2008, there has been a resurgence of interest in local economies. The crisis has caused many to look for ways of buffering their communities from drastic upheavals over which they little or no control.

The basic concept behind local economics is that everyone benefits if many goods and services are produced locally. With the rise of advanced farming techniques and technologies like 3D printers, this is increasingly possible.

Some of the benefits of building a strong local economy include:

a) Lower carbon footprint and impact on the environment since less energy is used for transportation

b) If local barter exchanges/community currencies are used then a large part of the wealth that is generated in a community stays in the community

c) Increased employment

d) Locally produced power using renewable energy sources like solar and wind reduce the reliance on greenhouse-producing energy sources such as coal plants

Every dollar you invest in a local economic initiative benefits not only yourself but your children and your neighbours. As RRSP season looms, I encourage to look at how a local economic initiative could become a part of your portfolio. Invest in the future today.

To learn more about this topic, join OREC at a panel discussion on Thurs, Feb 13th from 5:30-7pm at Invest Ottawa, 80 Aberdeen St, Suite 1o0.


Tim Inkpen is long time local economies advocate. He can be reached at tinkpen[at]