Even casual readers of the IN have probably picked up on the fact that we advocate supporting locally-owned businesses whenever possible. It’s just who we are—week in, week out and it pretty much goes without saying most of the time. But once a year, we actually say it and then say it again just in case you somehow missed it. We call that issue Stay Local.
This year actually marks our fifth annual issue—which means staying local has staying power. It also means we’ve got to find new ways to tell you why staying local matters.
We figured why not go to the source, so we talked to local business owners who support this local business.
We also looked at some new studies, like the “Indie Impact Series” done by Civic Economics in partnership with the American Booksellers Association. In 2012, they compared the recirculation of revenue from national chains like Home Depot, Target and McDonald’s with independent retailers in 10 participating cities. This study concluded that 13.6% of revenue from chain stores gets recirculated into the local economy, while the percentage for independents is much higher: 47.7%.
We also found some stats that further attest to the positive impact of keeping your dollars local. Like the Small Business Administration’s finding that small businesses donate nearly twice as much per employee to charitable organizations than large businesses.
So next time you’re debating Walmart or mom and pop, remember the power of staying local. We promise the feel good effects of knowing that about half of every dollar you spend is going back into your town will be worth it.