I have been an avid local shopper for over 20 years, trying to support local businesses as much as possible. Admittedly it is not easy to buy green locally after my last search for blue or green organic towels. Why I shop locally? The number one reason, is I want local businesses to pay taxes, and the more I shop with them, they will stay in business and pay alot of taxes. Those taxes mean more money for things like libraries, police, fire departments, roads and more.
The next reason- time v.s. money. I don’t want to waste time driving 20-20 minutes away to get ‘a better deal’ . It costs too much, especially now with the price of gas. I have also discovered you don’t save that much money. Perhaps shopping at the small local business will cost me $1.00 more for an item, but I am supporting them. As a budding entrepreneur, I want them to support me as well.
‘For every dollar that is spent at a big box retailer, approximately $0.30-0.35 remains in the local economy.Â For each dollar spent at a local, independently-owned business, however, $0.70-0.75 remains in the community.Â These numbers are even more significant when one compares food purchased at a supermarket with food that one buys directly from a local farmer, whether at a farmersâ€™ market or through a CSA (community supported agriculture).Â Just $0.15-0.18 of each dollar spent at a supermarket returns to the farmers that produced that food; upwards of $0.85 goes to the farmer when you buy your food directly from its source. (source)
American Express Open conducted a study of 600 retail small business owners and managers on Buying Local. The goal was to get impressions of whether or not there was a trend, did it actually exist and to understand the effect on their businesses. Of the retailers polled:
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- 51 % said they believe there is indeed a growing “buy local” sentiment in the United States.
- 55 % believe that buy local campaigns can help small businesses compete in challenging economic times.
- 57 % are planning local campaigns in 2011.
- 20% plan to give more of their business to local businesses in 2011.
- 36 % of small retailers say the biggest incentive for consumers to buy at local, independent businesses is ‘better customer service’.
- 16% said second biggest incentive is supporting the community by creating local jobs
- If the average American patronized a local business one out of 10 times, there could be nearly $140 million in new economic activity and more than 1,600 new jobs that provide more than $50 million in new wages.
Buying Local supports your local business, decreases taxes, lowers the price of goods and increases jobs and helps local business owners invest in your community. As a by product it also lessens your carbon footprint. It is also a great marketing tool for those who own a business.