Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Shopping Local" Has Big Effects On A Community

From a press release from the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce on how shifting just 10 percent of your shopping to Uptown independent retailers can affect us all:

A new study in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood finds that locally owned, independent retail stores re-circulate 245% more of their revenues back into the local economy than their chain store competitors. Locally-owned, independent restaurants re-circulate 139% more.

“Supporting local, independent businesses is one of the most important choices you can make to strengthen your community,” notes Ellen Shepard, executive director of the non-profit Andersonville Development Corporation, which commissioned the study. “During the holiday season especially, people have the chance to really make a difference.”

The study estimates that if shoppers in all of Cook County shifted just 10% of their annual spending from chain businesses to locals, an additional $1.27 billion would be retained in the Cook County economy annually.

“Independents bring substantial benefits to their local economies when compared to their chain competitors,” study authors Civic Economics conclude.  “The extra dollars in the local economy produce more jobs for residents, extra tax revenues for local governments, more investment in commercial and residential districts, and enhanced support for local nonprofits. In short, locally owned, independent businesses create better places.”

The analysis shows that for every $100 in consumer spending at a locally-owned, independent retailer $46.90 stays in Chicago’s economy, versus only $13.60 for a chain retailer. This represents a 245% “local premium” to the city’s economy when consumers shop at locals.

For every $100 in consumer spending at a local restaurant, $72.70 stays in the local economy, versus $30.40 for chain restaurants. Ten local, independent Andersonville retailers and three local, independent Andersonville restaurants participated in the study.

The Andersonville study is part of a larger analysis of ten communities across the United States, sponsored in part by the American Booksellers Association and locally by Women and Children First Bookstore.  The aggregate national numbers show that local retailer and restaurants circulate 231% more money into their local economies than their chain counterparts. The Andersonville study and the national results can be found at

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