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Giving is Receiving: From the West Coast to The Gulf Coast, Looking Local Gives More Back
Nov 25, 2011
There’s turkey and yams, pumpkins and pies, dressings and gravies. And then there’s Black Friday, Super Sunday, and Cyber Monday. Thankfully, chain stores, big boxes, and internet retailers have left one little gap in the holiday hubbub and local businesses have taken the initiative to to claim it as their own. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shift their focus to local stores and shops, augmenting the stimulation of the local economy. As multiple studies report, including one by The Urban Conservancy, significantly higher revenues are reciprocated throughout local communities when consumers shop, buy, and stay local.
The Bakersfield Californian: Friday, Nov 25 2011 11:00 PM
OUR VIEW: How you can help stimulate local economy
Set down your car keys for a minute and read this editorial. We’re glad you’re going to hit the streets in search of some post-Thanksgiving bargains. Merchants large and small usually roll out good deals for shoppers who are in a pre-Christmas frame of mind. By participating, you’re doing your patriotic duty. Consumer spending is a vital piece of the economic recovery pie (did someone just mention pie?), and the holiday season is a huge part of that.
However, as long as you’re hitting the big-box store or the national volume-sales chain, consider peeking in the door of a locally owned boutique or haberdasher. Consider shopping local.
We didn’t come up with this eminently logical plan. This is actually a national movement that makes a lot of sense: Small Business Saturday. Today is the second annual observance.
Small Business Saturday, a way to focus attention on small businesses and regain a portion of the shoppers who flock to big-box and chain stores on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, seems to be gaining momentum with customers and locally owned businesses.
Studies have shown that shopping at locally owned businesses has a greater economic impact on a community than shopping at big-box or chain stores. An October 2004 report by the Chicago-based Andersonville Study of Retail Economics found that spending $100 at a locally owned store produces $68 in additional local economic impact, while doing the same at a chain store produces $43 in local impact.
A September 2009 report by the Urban Conservancy reached similar conclusions. That study examined data from 15 locally owned businesses in New Orleans and compared their impact on the economy to a typical midscale big-box store. It found that 16 percent of the money spent in the big-box stores stayed in the local economy, while the local retailers returned 32 percent of their revenue to the local economy. The reason: Local stores purchased goods and services from other local businesses, while the national-chain store tended not to.
Local small-business owners often have a great sense of community, too. That doesn’t the mean the local managers of national chains don’t; many are local themselves, and those who aren’t often enthusiastically adapt. But locally owned stores have consistent connections.
Don’t quit shopping at national chains. Just keep local merchants in mind when you shop. OK, you may go now.