1 Definitive Reason to Shop Local

FastCo reports on the results of a study by Civic Economics on Just How Awesome shopping locally is. Result: It’s Incredibly Awesome.

Some numbers: “…independent stores recirculate 55.2% of revenues compared to 13.6% for big retailers, and that local restaurants recirculate 67%, while big chains do 30.4%.”

What that means: “The extra dollars in the local economy produce more jobs for residents, extra tax revenues for local governments, more investment in commercial and residential districts, and enhanced support for local nonprofits.”

Basically: “In short, these businesses create better places.”

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5 Comments / Post A Comment

wearitcounts (#772)

why shop THEIR banana stand when we can make YOUR banana stand.

Morbo (#1,236)

Yet another reason not to shop at Amazon.com, aka Yuppie Wal-Mart.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@Morbo I personally prefer this reason, if only because it’s my hometown: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/amazon/

But yeah, basically, local or bust.

Markham (#1,862)

Actually…..

….the local businesses are circulating a higher % of a MUCH smaller number.

13% of the local Costco’s revenues is a LOT more than 55% of the local Mom & Pop stores. I suspect a % was reported because it makes it look like the local stores have a greater economic footprint and impact, but the truth is: 13% of the revenues of a store that makes hundreds of thousands per day is a lot more than the place that makes 100s of thousands per year.

Not to mention the fact that many uninsured people actually work for the small independent people, they get paid lower wages, less opportunities for career growth, etc. E.g. how far can you go if you’re the assistant manager for the local pub?

Meaning: the situation is way more complicated than people realize, it’s not as simple as buy local have more impact.

Tony (#2,920)

Actually, Markham the issue is quite simple. No one is suggesting that EVERYONE stop shopping at Walmart, Macy’s, TGI Friday’s or any of the other chain stores that can be found in every city and many small towns throughout this country. They will always get their share of business as there will always be people who continue to shop there. However, if EVERYONE did commit to spending a portion, let’s say 13% (minimum) of what they spend to small independent local business the larger percentage that’s recycled into the local economy would have a considerable impact. The “big box” stores will always get their share of business, but to suggest that actively spending more locally would not be beneficial is simply incorrect.

You mention the many “uninsured, lower paid employees with less career growth opportunities”, but then how much upward mobility is there at Burger King or Bloomingdale’s for that matter? The worker in a small store/restaurant has the potential to learn the business from the ground up. In many instances they are better situated to open their own store or even eventually buy the one they already work at. Small store workers as a rule enjoy their work more, provide better customer service and have a higher feeling of self worth.

As I said, in the end there will always be large corporate owed stores and many people who want the security of working at them. However, that fact in no way diminishes the benefit to the sense of community and the local economy that shopping local has.

Buying local has great benefits…The more we shop local, the greater the benefit to us all.

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