What kind of cost/benefit metrics should be considered when trying to support one's local vendors. Mostly I am looking into the printing end of things, but what general metrics should I be weighing? Many particular vendors charge more than I am willing to support; but am I possibly missing a side benefit that might arise from the relationship?
For more background, I was trying to come up with a vendor/cart solution for a site where customers could order prints. In shopping around to local vendors, I found that their costs don't compete dollar for dollar with online shops (quality of product being basically equal). Yet in wanting to support my local economy, I am wondering if there are particular added value s to eating an amount of the cost. IE, "Even if the cost is 3% higher, this is balanced out by being able to [X]."