Most of us (myself included) could do a better job of more often recognizing that when we buy something, we are also, in a way, voting for it. Cost analysis should include an awareness of what message you’re sending when buying something or going somewhere (I want this beer/farm/news site/bar/zoo/restauant, etc. to exist.)
Purchase power has always been a way to show support, but when we increasingly buy that which is not tangible, it may be even more important to incorporate that support into the price point.
As the music industry has fought online pirating, it has seemed to have the most success in arguing to consumers that buying music (an mp3, a CD, etc.) not only ensures a better experience, but purchasing also is a way to support, and tacitly “vote,” for a favorite musician — whether they are getting the biggest cut of the pie or not.
For local, small businesses (yes, niche media too), the pitch has to be the same. We need to offer value to consumers, yes, but ultimately the audience needs to also see any purchase — whatever that is — as a sign of support.