Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Localism, a movement to encourage consumers and businesses to purchase from locally owned, independent businesses rather than national corporations, has grown rapidly in the past decade. With several national, federated organizations and popular “buy local” campaigns, the localism movement has the potential to affect buying patterns, marketing, and distribution in American business. Yet localism remains understudied by researchers. This article, based on data from 38 interviews with localism leaders, identifies four of the movement’s priorities: independent ownership, local buying, local sourcing, and pragmatic partnering. In addition, we analyze the movement’s emerging values, including responsibility to workers and to the natural environment, and discuss the challenges these broader values present.