Additional Resources: Buying Local

 Additional Reports, Studies, And Research

Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy – TIME Magazine

10 percent: The Local Stimulus – Bloomberg Businessweek

2014 Buy Local Food Survey Findings – Sustainable Business Council

2012 Buy Local/Buy Sustainable Survey Summary – Sustainable Business Council

Independent Retailers Outperform Chains Over Holidays, National Survey Finds
January 2009 by Stacy Mitchell: A survey finds that independent retailers, especially those in communities with “Buy Local” campaigns, showed stronger numbers throughout the holidays than did national chains.

Thinking Outside the Box: A Report on Independent Merchants and the New Orleans Economy
The Urban Conservancy in partnership with Civic Economics: A 2009 study in New Orleans finds that shifting 10% of spending from chains to locally-owned businesses would create hundreds of new jobs and have the equivalent of injecting $60 Million annually in the form of recirculating currency.

San Francisco Retail Diversity Study
SFLOMA & Civic Economics: A 2007 study in San Francisco analyzes the market share of several categories to find out what percentage is held by chains or locally-owned businesses. It then calculates that if 10% of spending were shifted from chains to locals it would increase economic output by almost $192 Million, create almost 1300 new jobs, provide almost $72 Million in new income for workers, and create over $15 Million in additional retail activity.

Economic Impact Analysis
Civic Economics: A 2002 study in Austin found that for every $100 spent at a chain bookstore, the economic impact was $13, whereas when spent with a local bookstore the economic impact was $45. It also shows that local merchants spend a much larger portion of total revenue on local labor to run the enterprise and sell the merchandise, keep their modest profits in the local economy, and provide strong support for local artists and authors, creating further local economic impact.

Study Shows 58% of Local Citizens Are “Thinking Local First” More Often
Sustainable Connections, survey by Applied Research Northwest: A 2006 study shows that 58% of Bellingham, WA citizens are aware of their Local First program and as a result are changing their purchasing habits. “These results are phenomenal. Normally, if 1 in 5 households claim familiarity with your program, and change their behavior because of it you would consider it a success. To have nearly 3 in 5 households attributing a behavior change to this program shows an amazing impact.” Dr. Pamela Jull, lead researcher.

Andersonville Study of Retail Economics
Civic Economics: A 2004 study (an extension of the Economic Impact study in Austin, 2002) compares the economic impact of ten Andersonville businesses and their chain competitors and finds that for every $100 in consumer spending with a local firm, $68 remains in the Chicago economy whereas for every $100 in consumer spending with a chain firm, $43 remains in the Chicago economy. The study also states that great care must be taken to ensure that public policy decisions do not inadvertently disadvantage locally owned businesses. Indeed, it may be in the best interests of communities to institute policies that directly protect them.

The Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses vs. Chains: A Case Study in Midcoast Maine
Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Midcoast Maine: A 2003 study in Maine found that when residents of the Midcoast region spend $100 at a big box retailer, their purchase generates $14 in local spending by the retailer. That same $100 spent at a locally owned business generates $45 in local spending, or three times as much. Dollars spent at a local retailer support not only that store, but a variety of other local businesses, including local banks, accountants, printers, and internet service providers.

Fiscal Impact Analysis
Tischler & Associates, Inc.: This 2002 study in Massachusetts finds that big box retail, shopping centers, and fast food restaurants cost taxpayers in Barnstable more than they make in revenue, where gains were made by specialty retail (including small businesses).

10 Reasons Why Vermont’s Homegrown Economy Matters: And 50 Proven Ways to Revive It
Stacy Mitchell (New Rules Project) & the Preservation Trust of Vermont: This 60 page publication by Stacy Mitchell of the New Rules Project details the importance of local business and points out the importance of community engagement to create downtown revitalizations, sustainable planning policies, and curbing urban sprawl.

Report on Independent Business impact
Santa Fe Independent Business & Community Alliance and Angelou Economics: A 2003 Santa Fe study shows how national chains in that city are growing at a rapid rate, resulting in a large outflow of money from the local economy. It details how impact of dollars spent at independent businesses deliver two times the economic impact of spending at national chains.

Time to Switch Drugstores?
Consumer Reports: 32,000 Consumer Report readers were surveyed about their drugstores and pharmacies. Published in 2003, the findings showed that more than 85% of customers at independent drugstores were very satisfied or completely satisfied with the experience, with only a 58% approval for chain drugstores. Also the highest prescription prices were found at the national chains.