The hidden boost that buying local provides
January 10, 2020
Though consumers no doubt understand how buying from local merchants can benefit those merchants, few may grasp just how beneficial buying local can be to their entire communities. In 2012, Civic Economics, an economic analysis and strategic planning firm, analyzed data from 15 independent retailers and seven independent restaurants, all located in Salt Lake City, comparing those businesses’ local economic impact with four national retailer chains and three national restaurant chains. The study found that the local retailers returned 52% of their revenue to the local economy, a figure that dwarfed the revenue returned by the national chains, which returned just 14% of revenue to the local economy. Restaurants provided an even bigger boost to local economies, returning 79% of their revenue compared to just 30% for the national chain restaurants. The reasons for these disparities include local businesses spending more on local labor and relying more heavily on local service providers. So while buying local may be more convenient and eco-friendly, it also can greatly benefit local economies.