We all hear how its good to buy our produce locally, but what about buying web hosting services locally. Interestingly, your company will be better off if you host with a local provider, and it has nothing to do with better support and everything to do with search engines and regionality.
Search Engines such as Google or Bing like LOCAL results
When you do an internet search, the search engine knows where you are and in turn will display search results that are close to your region. For example, if you do a search for lawyers, Google will undoubtedly return results for law offices in your area. It does this using IP geography. From your IP address, Google has a rough idea of why you are in the world.
The same technology that determines where you are located can be used to determine where a website/company is located. Now lets be honest, search engines know that most websites are hosted outside their served region. However, if your website is hosted from an IP with a geographic footprint of say Ohio, and your business is in Ohio and mentions this in the indexable content on your site (mailing address, area code, ectc.,.), the combination of these two things is very positive. It tells Google you are physically local to that area and cyber local to that area. All of this is good stuff for your ranking.
So go ahead and host your website with a local provider!