I have friends in Tucson who insist on meeting at local coffee houses in order to support local business. I don’t think they like my affinity for Starbucks. So here are some simple questions when considering what it means to support “local” business (like a coffee house):

Is anything really local?

What makes something local?

Does that fact that Starbucks employees 20 to 50 times the employees as any of the other coffee houses in Tucson make it, local?

Is the question, “what’s local?” or “what’s sustainable?” Or, is it both?

Can the “big” and the “small” — the regional and the international thrive together?

Is “local” only that which is local to me, or that which is local to “someone”–even if that someone is in a small village in a different country?