Which three local businesses would you miss if they closed their doors? Maybe it's that place on the corner where you grab the best burgers. Perhaps it's the electronic guy down the street that you call for a quick fix when your computer gets stuck. Is it the florist who already seems to know exactly what your wife will love for her birthday-and is good enough to give you a reminder call so you never forget the date?
Small business (defined as having 500 or fewer employees) are the lifeblood of the American economy, accounting for an astounding 99.7 percent of all employer firms, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Yet locally owned independent businesses are under far more pressure than ever. Trying economic times that have consumers closing their wallets, the credit crunch, and shoppers searching for perceived bargains at large chain stores have taken a severe toll. Buyouts of corporations that are "too big to fail" largely don't benefit the local economy.
The concept is simple: if half of the employed U.S. population chose three locally owned independent businesses they would hate to lose, and then spent a combined total of $50 a month with them, it would have a major impact-generating an estimated $42.6 billion of revenue annually.
Here are the straightforward facts: For every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 remains in the local economy.
In contrast, only $43 of every $100 remains local when spent in national chains, and little or no local revenue results from online purchases.
The experts all talk in terms of macro or microeconomics-not how consumers talk to each other over the dinner table. We simply say, 'Here's the impact.' It really resonates that even a small amount of spending can make a big difference.
Another difference is the realistic approach. This is the only buy local movement that doesn't ask consumers to stop going to big box stores or shopping on-line. We understand that while you can find many things in a local business, there are some items that just can't be found locally. We simply need to balance our spending because the all or nothing mentality is simply not realistic in today's world.
A strength of our community is developed through the support of our own local economy, our locally owned and operated business.