Don’t look far for goods and services. Your money will remain near, too.

The local section of any newspaper, particularly a metropolitan paper, often includes a laundry list: the latest homicide cases, business buzzes and road repairs, along with the occasional peaceful gathering. But the communities of Minneapolis-St. Paul and their individual, but proud neighborhoods have more to boast than the recent deluge of Republicans in the area. The neighborhoods of Minneapolis-St. Paul are filled with events, movements and individuals whose promotions of local sustainability tend to be swept under the rug by larger news. This is why IâÄôll be zeroing in to all things local this semester: to focus beyond our cityâÄôs ability to catch the limelight of national news and peer further down the street. Each week will have a more immediate lens to whatâÄôs local. Staying local is one of several new trends to fix our drowning economy. Our summers were filled with âÄústaycationsâÄù and their conclusions, according to The New York TimesâÄô Business section, included back to school âÄúcent salesâÄù where a penny can buy a box of pencils, and a quarter, 24 Crayola crayons at Target. According to the Times, the thrifty theme is meant to draw shoppers to the store in order to add more than sales items to their carts. With 71 percent of households cutting back on back to school spending, the appeal of a one-stop location that sells supplies, clothes and groceries like Target also saves gas. Though we can be proud the first Target opened in Roseville more than four decades ago, itâÄôs the focus on whatâÄôs local that remains important. Historically, metropolitan areas have been served by locally-based wholesalers of varying sizes and specialties. It has only been in recent years that large national retailers have moved into the contract supply business on a massive scale. But last November, a study commissioned by Local First Arizona and conducted by third-party economic analysis and strategic planning company, Civic Economics, reported that purchasing a contract with a local supplier recirculates three times as much money in the local economy as the same contract with a national firm. The study, âÄúProcurement Matters: The Economic Impact of Local Suppliers,âÄù focuses on a specific case in which the state of Arizona switched its office supply contract from Wist Office Products, a third-generation family-owned business based in Tempe, to Office Max Contract, a subsidiary of the retail chain Office Max. Relying on surveys, annual reports and SEC filings, Civic Economics found that only 11.6 percent of Office MaxâÄôs total revenue remained in the local economy, compared to 33.4 percent of WistâÄôs. In the report, Civic Economics attributes the difference to four major factors. To begin, a larger local payroll exists: WistâÄôs 60 employees are all local and have full health benefits whereas Office MaxâÄôs management resides in Columbus, Ohio. This, of course, places their paychecks into OhioâÄôs economy instead of ArizonaâÄôs. Second, a larger share of the profits remains in the state. Third, with a local company, more goods and services can be purchased there: Wist is able to hire legal and accounting work in the immediate area, but Office Max must invest globally. Lastly, because it need not spread its investments across the nation, Wist supplies greater involvement and monetary contribution to the local community and its charities. The study concludes that, âÄúadditional dollars recirculating in the local economy generate taxable transactions, employ local citizens and promote the economic vitality of the community.âÄù Though humid Minnesota is obviously not the desert of Arizona, it would certainly be worth increasing our reliance on local services and retailers the study implies. The impending surge of tens of thousands conventioneers, of course, could help our entrepreneurs their role in our local economy. Last weekend, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal reported that shop owners in our usually blue state have tucked away Obama t-shirts and chosen to display Clinton gag gifts instead. But itâÄôs working. The Romeo and Juliet Shop in Gaviidae Commons has already sold hundreds of Bill corkscrews and Hillary nutcrackers, and, have increased their sales by 30 percent in the last weeks. Family-owned sandwich shops in St. Paul are staying open 24 hours in an attempt to catch up on the bills. But what will happen when the thousands leave and we become blue again? We would do well to consider our local options, rather than the easier ones. Maybe we have to go a little further to have lunch at the Seward Café or grab our morning coffee at Dunn Bros. But if it means more revenue and recirculated dollars, itâÄôs not a bad deal.