The Power of Shopping Local

Aug 04, 2014

Is it possible the key to community success is right under our own front door welcome mat? States and communities are spending millions on attracting big box stores and chains to their malls. But could it be when it comes to community economic development, we are totally missing the boat?

It’s not that there is not a place in a local community for big box and chain stores, but according to a lot of research, smaller may actually be better for a local economy.

According to a 2009 Time Magazine article, “At the most basic level, when you buy local, more money stays in the community.”

The New Economics Foundation, and independent economic think tank based in London, conducted a study that compared what happens to a local economy when people spend at a supermarket vs. a local farmer’s market or community-supported agriculture program. They found that twice as much money stayed in the community when people bought locally; meaning that those purchases are twice as efficient for the local economy.

The study asserted that local economies are not hurting so much because of too little cash coming in, but because the money does not stay local. When customers spend their money at corporate-owned stores, the majority of it leaves the community. When buying locally, a much greater proportion stays local.

The moral of the story is that local businesses are more than just quaint characters in the local economy….they are the saviors of the local economy.

Shop local, and treat your local markets and businesses with the dignity they deserve! If you want to build a strong local economy, local is the place to begin.