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Economic Studies


Economic Studies on the Buy Local and 10 Percent Shift Movements

Local Works! Examining the Impact of Local Business on the West Michigan Economy
Local First and Civic Economics: In western Michigan, a 10% shift of spending from chains to locally-owned businesses would create nearly $140 million in new economic activity, add over 1600 new jobs to the area, and provide over $50 million in new wages.

Fiscal impact analysis
Tischler & Associates, Inc.: This 2002 study in Massachusetts finds that big box retail, shopping centers, and fast food restaurants cost taxpayers in Barnstable more than they make in revenue, where gains were made by specialty retail (including small businesses).

10 Reasons Why Vermont’s Homegrown Economy Matters: And 50 Proven Ways to Revive It
Stacy Mitchell (New Rules Project) & the Preservation Trust of Vermont: This 60 page publication by Stacy Mitchell of the New Rules Project details the importance of local business and points out the importance of community engagement to create downtown revitalizations, sustainable planning policies, and curbing urban sprawl.

Thinking Outside the Box: A Report on Independent Merchants and the New Orleans Economy
The Urban Conservancy in partnership with Civic Economics: A 2009 study in New Orleans finds that shifting 10% of spending from chains to locally-owned businesses would create hundreds of new jobs and have the equivalent of injecting $60 Million annually in the form of recirculating currency.

Time to Switch Drugstores?
Consumer Reports: 32,000 Consumer Report readers were surveyed about their drugstores and pharmacies. Published in 2003, the findings showed that more than 85% of customers at independent drugstores were very satisfied or completely satisfied with the experience, with only a 58% approval for chain drugstores. Also the highest prescription prices were found at the national chains.

Independent Retailers Outperform Chains Over Holidays, National Survey Finds
January 2009 by Stacy Mitchell: A survey finds that independent retailers, especially those in communities with “Buy Local” campaigns, showed stronger numbers throughout the holidays than did national chains.

The Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses vs. Chains: A Case Study in Midcoast Maine
Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Midcoast Maine: A 2003 study in Maine found that when residents of the Midcoast region spend $100 at a big box retailer, their purchase generates $14 in local spending by the retailer. That same $100 spent at a locally owned business generates $45 in local spending, or three times as much. Dollars spent at a local retailer support not only that store, but a variety of other local businesses, including local banks, accountants, printers, and internet service providers.

Study Shows 58% of Local Citizens Are “Thinking Local First” More Often
Sustainable Connections, survey by Applied Research Northwest: A 2006 study shows that 58% of Bellingham, WA citizens are aware of their Local First program and as a result are changing their purchasing habits. “These results are phenomenal. Normally, if 1 in 5 households claim familiarity with your program, and change their behavior because of it you would consider it a success. To have nearly 3 in 5 households attributing a behavior change to this program shows an amazing impact.” Dr. Pamela Jull, lead researcher.

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