The math for buying close to home is compelling—for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, where only $43 remains in the local economy. Recent research from Civic Economics (civiceconomics.com) indicates that local eateries return nearly 79 percent of revenues to the community, compared to just over 30 percent for chain restaurants.
“When profits stay local, it increases the community’s wealth, tax revenue and standard of living,” Dr. Sue Lynn Sasser, professor of economics at the University of Central Oklahoma, says.
“Small businesses and local businesses are still the backbone of our economy,” Sasser adds. “They are local people serving local people and are generally committed to staying there, raising their families. After all, most businesses started out as a small, local business and earned the success of growing and expanding. It’s the American Dream.”
“We can’t simply say ‘Shop Locally!’ and keep our economy vibrant and healthy. We have to take the time and spend the money to support local businesses with our presence and our dollars.” Chris Wise
Here are 15 reasons to keep your cash close to home:
- Keep Money Local. Sales taxes fund our communities and provide vital services such as police and fire protection, street repairs and trash collection. Local businesses are more likely to shop with other local businesses, keeping money moving in our local economy even longer.
- Local Investment. Local businesses are less susceptible to national downturns and more likely to work harder to stay open. Local ownership means that important decisions are made by people who live in our community and feel the impact of those decisions.
- Locally-Made Products. Local business owners often sell local products, which helps preserve the community’s distinction and creates more jobs locally, as well.
- Support for Nonprofits. Local businesses support good work in our community. “Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than large ones,” explains Dr. Sue Lynn Sasser, professor of economics at the University of Central Oklahoma.
- Discover Interesting Things and People. One-of-a-kind shops and restaurants are part of what makes your town or city a great place to live.
- Personal Connection. Getting to know the store owners is a great reason to shop local. It’s their business, they are the decision-makers and they build a personal relationship with their customers.
- Product Knowledge. Local business owners are well informed about their products and know what they are selling. Because they know their customers, they can easily adjust their inventories to include the goods and services local people want to buy.
- Diverse Products. Local stores carry inventory you might not find at national chain stores. Local business owners choose products based on what their customers want and often carry unique items from local artists and farmers..
- Cost Effective. Sometimes prices at local businesses are better because they don’t have the overhead that larger stores may have and they may be more willing to negotiate to meet your price needs.
- Better Experience. Local shopping can translate to more convenient retail experiences.
- Less “Leakage”. Local businesses tend to buy and sell with other local businesses. With national or multi-national firms, a percentage of that profit ‘leaks’ out of the community, the state or even the nation.
- Increased Expertise. Shopping at a local store means you can get an expert opinion about the products that you’re purchasing. Local shop owners have to be experts in their field to compete. Use them—ask them questions and get advice about products.
- Create Community. We are a transitory society so people don’t always have a connection with the communities where they live. You should encourage people new to an area to ask the locals where they shop.
- Better Service. Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take more time to get to know their customers. “They’ll often go the extra mile to help you and to ensure you’re a satisfied customer,” Sasser says.
- Support Future Growth. Shopping locally is the best way to show pride in your city and help protect the businesses that make our city unique.