SOURCE: Civic Economics – “Local Works!” Study, 2008. Commissioned by Local First
Small Change. Big Shift.
“Local Works! Examining the Impact of Local Business on the West Michigan Economy” — a 2008 study of Kent County commissioned by Local First — determined that just a 10% shift in consumer spending toward locally owned businesses would create:
- $140 million in new economic activity
- 1,600 new jobs
- $50 million in new wages
According to research firm Civic Economics, when West Michigan consumers choose a locally owned business over a non-local alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stays in the community. By contrast, only $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remains in the community.
In introducing the results of its 2012 Independent Business Survey, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance notes: “Independent businesses located in communities that have an active “buy local” campaign operated by a local business organization, such as an Independent Business Alliance or a Local First group, experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those in areas without such an initiative.”
Public awareness of the value of buying local is growing rapidly. 1,768 independent, locally owned businesses representing 49 states participated in the annual survey, including many Local First members in West Michigan. More than three-quarters of businesses said they thought public awareness of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses had increased over the last year.