Friday, August 17, 2012
Buying local pays off locally
They and others were armed with a study conducted in the Salt Lake Valley that showed independent retailers return 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy — compared with 14 percent by national chains. The data from 2011 compiled by national research firm Civic Economics also calculated that locally owned restaurants returned nearly 79 percent of their revenue, compared with 30 percent by their national counterparts.
The study concluded that shifting just 10 percent of purchases from national chains to local retailers and restaurants would keep $487 million in the Utah economy — money that now leaves the state to be spent elsewhere.
Daniel Houston, a partner at Civic Economics, said similar studies in Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Grand Rapids, Mich., by the national research group shows that shopping locally can keep at least three times more revenue in local economies.
For comparison purposes, Civic Economics analyzed annual reports for four major national chain stores (Barnes & Noble, The Home Depot, Office Max and Target). In addition, researchers analyzed reports for three national restaurant chains (Darden, McDonald’s and P.F. Chang’s).
While chain stores and restaurants extract locally generated revenue from the community with each nightly bank transaction, independents create a cycle of local spending, according to the study.
The extra dollars in local communities produce more jobs, extra tax revenue, more investment in commercial and residential districts, and enhanced support for local nonprofits. In short, these businesses create better places, it said. Salt Lake Tribune