Why Think Local?
- In a 2011 Economic Development Quarterly study of 2,953 counties nationally in rural and urban centers alike, researchers found that the key to reversing long-term trends of stagnating incomes in the U.S. lies in nurturing small, locally-owned independent businesses and limiting further expansion and market consolidation by larger corporations.
- In a 2004 Andersonville (IL) Chamber of Commerce economic study, for every $100 in consumer spending with a local firm, $68 remain in the Chicago economy; every $100 spent with a chain, only $43 remained in the Chicago economy. For every square foot occupied by a local firm, local economic impact is $179; for every square foot occupied by a chain firm, local economic impact is $105.
- Based on the 2011 analysis from the Maine Center for Economic Policy, for every $100 spent at a local business in Portland, Maine, an additional $58.03 is generated in local impact. By comparison, $100 spent at a representative national chain store generates $33.43 in local impact.
to Think Local First
- Money Spent Local, Stays Local. Several studies have shown that money spent in a local business stays in the community. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes back into the community – and our tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store, only $14 comes back.*
- Local Owners are Local Contributors. Local businesses give a greater amount of money to local causes. Nonprofits receive an average of 350% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses. They also directly inject money into the local economy through payments of wages and benefits to local residents.
- Local Businesses Offer Stable Employment. Small local businesses are one of the largest employers nationally, and local businesses offer greater loyalty to their employees.
- Lower Environmental Impact. Independent businesses make purchases requiring less transportation, and usually open and operate in commercial corridors and in-town instead of developing on the fringe. This means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution. Higher densities and greater access for pedestrians and public transit mean significantly less land devoted to roads and parking lots.
- Promote Competition and Diversity. More local businesses equal more competition and better prices. When certain businesses monopolize the market, competition is gone.
- Put Your Taxes to Good Use. Local businesses in neighborhoods need comparatively less infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community. A study of this found that the city’s small downtown stores generate a net annual surplus (tax revenue minus costs) of $326 per 1,000 square feet. Big-box stores, strip shopping centers, and fast-food outlets, however, require more in services than they produce in revenue. A big-box store creates an annual tax deficit of $468 per 1,000 square feet.*
- Vote With Your Dollars. What you buy matters. Every time you choose a local business over a chain, it makes a difference. It’s a vote with your dollar. When you buy local, the ripple effect spreads from cash registers right to your street.
- Keep New Mexico One-of-a-Kind. The unique shops, restaurants and businesses who call our city home are a huge part of what makes New Mexico inimitable. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
- Invest in the Community. Locally owned businesses are run by people who live here, work here, and are invested in the community with much more than just their dollars. In an increasingly homogenized world, people are more likely to invest in or move to communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and unique attitude.
*Sources: The Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses vs. Chains: A Case Study in MidCoast Maine, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of MidCoast Maine, September 2003; and Economic Impact Analysis: A Case Study, Civic Economics, December 2002. *New Rules Project, Home Town Advantage Bullet in September 2003. *Tischler & Associates, Barnstable, MA.
The Triple Bottom Line:
Our businesses commit to the TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
People, Planet and Profit. This means that our businesses commit to evaluating their business success on three levels: the traditional bottom line, plus how they impact our community, clean air, and water.
This is a work in progress. All of our member businesses are evaluating the best ways in which they can improve upon their business model in a financially sustainable way, while giving back to the community, their employees, and our planet.
We think you will be inspired by the efforts taken by our listed member businesses. We ask that you support their efforts by visiting their stores, checking out their products, and trying out their services.