October 20, 2011 by Crystal
Local Works! studied the impact of local business on the local economy, and here’s what they found:
For every $100 spent at a local, independent shop, $73 remains in the local economy, and $27 leaves.
For every $100 spent at a non-local store, $43 remains in the local economy, and $57 leaves.
See also their helpful infographic here.
Sustainable Connections says studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business rather than a nationally owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms — continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community. (Click here to see summaries of a variety of economic impact studies; these include case studies showing that locally-owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact to the community and our tax base.)
I want good customer service.
Local businesses hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers. Did you know that Stone Bros. garden shop has been in Durham for over 90 years? All of their staff are friendly and will remember your name, can answer any gardening question, and have a standard practice of carrying your purchases to your car for you. Meanwhile, most of the staff in the Home Depot garden department don’t even know the names of the plants they are selling.
I love our local non-profit organizations.
Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
I want to keep our community unique!
Durham’s one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of its distinctive character. Our tourism business also benefits. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
Economic research shows that in our increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
I want to buy what I want, not what someone wants me to buy.
A local marketplace of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. All of these small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
I support job creation in Durham.
Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, providing the most jobs to local residents.
I want public funds (i.e., my tax dollars!) to be used efficiently.
Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
I care about the environment, and I want to minimize driving time (thereby reducing CO2 emissions).
Locally owned businesses generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.