Buy Local: A Cultural Shift in Spending

In the past few years Buy Local campaigns, sometimes referred to as Shop Local, have emerged across the country. With the coming of the holidays, these campaigns take on an even greater economic meaning. Before going further let’s define what I mean by “local.”

Local, in this instance, is referring to that businesses that are owned locally. The business decisions are made locally. The business owner lives local. The business is independent of a chain or, in most cases, a franchise. Get it? Locally owned…not just locally located.

I’m not a statistics person. I shop and buy and dine local because it just makes sense to do business with my neighbor or the parent in my grandchild’s home-room class. Or the car dealer I’ve known ever since the owner moved to town. These are people I see every day, people whose children grew up with mine. It makes sense to want to be a part of their business success, whether it’s a shop or store or restaurant. 

But, for those of you who like statistics, here are a couple that might surprise you. According to the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), locally owned independent businesses invest more than 55% of their business proceeds back into the local economy. On the other hand, with national chains and franchises, that figure is less than 14%.

There are other studies and statistics as well. But, depending on which statistics are used, there is a 3 to 4 times multiplier in the local economic contribution of a locally owned independent business. Given these numbers, there are good reasons to shop & buy local.

  • It makes good sense economically.
  • It makes a real difference in the quality of life in the community.
  • It builds community diversity in products and services.
  • It provides “try on” and “try out” possibilities.
  • It puts experienced employees in front of buyers.
  • It increases support for local organizations and needs.
  • It enhances customer satisfaction.
  • It makes you feel good to know your own money is making a difference when you buy and shop and dine local!

Happy shopping and dining. And a heartfelt “Thank you” for making a difference in your community with your shopping dollars!