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Why It’s Important to Buy Local

The movement towards buying local has been picking up some serious momentum lately. And while it’s not specifically a “marketing how-to” topic like I usually present here, I think it is a great part of the successful marketing formula for a small to medium sized business. Especially when you consider that one of the pillars of holistic marketing is Socially Responsible Marketing, I thought it might be a good idea to share some interesting ideas learned while researching this topic.

  • The opening of a Wal-Mart reduces local employment by an average of 150 jobs
  • $100 spent at a local bookstore can create $45 of economic activity, as opposed to only $13 if spent at a chain
  • If residents of an average American city shifted 10% of their spending from chains to local business, it would bring an extra $235 million to the community
  • In an average state, a 10% switch to using local produce saves about 310,000 gallons of fuel and reduces CO2 by 7.3 million lbs. per year
  • Only about 33.6%  of revenue from chains is reinvested in the economy, as opposed to 64.8% from local businesses
  • Local businesses, typically located in town centers, contribute less to congestion, urban sprawl and habitat loss

Source: Institute for Local Self Reliance and the American Independent Business Alliance

The above mentioned organization, American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) is a great resource for information on the importance of buying local and how you can help. Chances are your local chamber of commerce is getting involved, but you can get started on your own as well. This recent chart from these good folks gives business owners a quick snapshot of the results.

 ”A number of researchers and organizations are taking a closer look at how money flows, and what they’re finding shows the profound economic impact of keeping money in town—and how the fate of many communities around the nation and the world increasingly depend on it.” – Judith Schwartz, Time Magazine

So I hope I’ve got your attention! This is an essential element of growth for local businesses, a great way to have more control over your future and a sane path toward strengthening the national economy that does not concentrate all the wealth at the top! Feel free to get in touch with questions and I’d love to hear your comments.

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