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Why Buy Local?

Why Buy Local?

How locally spent dollars build the local economy

Follow the money, every dollar spent on local business benefits your community.

Buying from a local business has many benefits for Columbus and surrounding communities in central Ohio. The more support we give to community based businesses the more we get back. Many economic studies document this in dollars and cents. As a general rule, for every $100 you spend at a locally owned business, more than $68 remains in our community; however, that same $100 spent at non-local chain stores retains only $43 in our community. The difference is because our locally owned businesses tend to purchase goods and services locally, whereas the chain stores purchase supplies from their own national sources. In addition, store profits from big box chain stores typically go to non-local investors.

A “local multiplier effect” happens when more dollars are retained in our community. A study commissioned in 2008 by the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan demonstrates this effect dramatically. They asked, what would happen if there were a 10% Shift in consumer spending at local independent businesses? The result of this increase in local purchasing would be an estimated $140 million in new
economic activity, 1,600 new jobs, and $50 million in new wages. While it is not always possible to buy what you need locally, it makes good economic sense to start to “Think Local First” when you shop, eat out, bank, repair your car, etc.

It’s not just about the money! Locally owned businesses are at the heart of our local neighborhoods and communities in central Ohio. They contribute to the unique character and charm of our neighborhoods and give us a sense of belonging and shared values. They offer opportunities for interacting with our neighbors and enhance that elusive feeling we recognize as the quality in our lives. We celebrate our communities in annual festivals that honor our diverse cultures, supported by local vendors and the arts
in all their forms. They help make central Ohio a great place to live, work, and play! What is a local business? How can I get involved?

According to the Small Business Beanstalk , a local business is an organization that is privately held and at least 51% locally owned in the Columbus metropolitan area. Local businesses have no corporate or national headquarters outside of Ohio and are able to make independent purchasing and branding decisions. Member businesses of the SBB live and work in central Ohio. The SBB community card is free to individuals and offers discounts to more than 250 locally owned businesses. You can join online or meet them at local community events.

More Reasons to Buy Local…Create More Good Jobs. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community; providing the most jobs to residents.

  • Support Community Groups. Non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from small business owners than they do from large businesses.
  • Get Better Service. Local businesses often hire people with better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
  • Invest in the Community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, are
  • less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
  • Put Your Taxes to Good Use. Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
  • Buy What You Want, Not What Someone Wants You to Buy.  A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. 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.
  • Keep our Community Unique. Where we shop, where we eat and have fun – all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Tourism also benefits. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.”
  • Encourage Local Prosperity. A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
  • Reduce Environmental Impact. Locally owned businesses make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!

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