Why Local First
Courtesy of Local First West Michigan
In a nutshell, locally owned independent businesses return more to our community than an outside chain business. Numerous studies have shown that communities with a strong base of local businesses enjoy economic, environmental and social benefits.
- Multiplier Effect - As shown above and in this graphic, has been studied in many communities.
- Andersonville Study - A study conducted here in Chicago showed that for every $100 spent at a locally owned store, $68 stayed in the community. The same $100 spent at a chain store retained only $43.
- Job Creation - Small businesses are the true job creators in this country and they create business leaders rather than low wage service employees.
- Other studies - Many studies have confirmed the benefits of locally owned businesses.
- Transportation Costs - Local businesses encourage people to walk rather than drive.
- "Smart Growth" - Local businesses fit in well with “Smart Growth” strategies that discourage sprawl and encourage walkable neighborhoods.
- Placed Based Accountability - When a business owner lives in a community, they are much less likely to resist efforts to improve environmental conditions.
- Charitable Contributions - Studies have shown that locally owned businesses give more to local charities than outside chains.
- Health – Having small businesses in a community improves health outcomes.
- Income – Higher concentrations of small business are correlated with increasing community wealth
- Real Estate Values – A recent study showed local businesses helped community real estate values outperform the market
- Civic Engagement – People who live in communities with lots of small businesses are more likely to vote and engage in their community
- Unique Communities - Locally owned businesses serve the unique needs of their communities thus preserving our unique culture, arts, history and architecture. No one wants to live in Everywhere USA.