Buying From Local and Independent Businesses Keeps Your Money In Town
In 2011 a study was released called An Assessment of the Effectiveness and Fiscal Impacts of the Use of Local Development Incentives in the St. Louis Region By East-West Gateway Council of Governments.
And that long-titled study revealed that in the past 20 years local governments in the metro St. Louis region diverted more than $5.8 billion dollars of public tax revenue to subsidize private development. Of that boatload of money just about 80% of those subsidies supported the attraction and construction of big-box stores and shopping malls, mostly in upper middle class and affluent suburbs.
And guess what? The region has seen virtually no economic growth. Those areas that did show some growth did so at the expense of neighboring communities.
Meanwhile more than 600 small retailers, those with under 10 employees, have closed in the past ten years.
Moreover, when you buy one of ten million snowman sweaters for your husband, son, neighbor or dog for Christmas you’re keeping little of that $29.50 in your community, although the big-box stores will say, “Merry Christmas!” when your cash comes their way across the country. A study in New Orleans showed that only 16% of retail revenue spent at a big box store stayed in town, while 32% stuck around if the buyer shopped at a locally owned business.
Studies continually show the negative impact of big-box store on local economies.
Now before you bow your head in shame and vow to never again shop at a large retail chain I’ll let you off the hook. Big box stores have their place. They have more buying power for everyday items, provide jobs (although wages are a debatable subject) and can save a consumer the time and fuel costs it takes to drive to multiple locations to buy what they need.
So what can I do to help local businesses?
How about this: just a small shift of your cash to local businesses results in a huge bounty to your local economy. Take our Cajun pals in New Orleans again, a shift of just 10% of consumer spending from chains to local businesses would generate an additional $235 million a year in local economic activity, creating many new opportunities and jobs.
There are many other reasons to keep your change local and they include diversity of products, local tax revenues that stick around town, charitable giving is typically higher from small businesses, and independent businesses generally hire people who know their stuff. Asking detailed questions about paper stock and full bleeds on printing jobs may be met with blank stares at a large office supply stores but come to The UPS Store, Oak Park Commons and we’ll know just what you mean.
So consider dropping by a local store, especially this Holiday season. You may find your gift giving reaches a whole new level when you give a unique gift and not one of millions.
The UPS Store, Oak Park Commons may bear the national name UPS, but we’re a locally owned franchise. That means we’re local, we know our stuff, and we support our community. So for all your printing, shipping, mailboxes, direct mail and shredding needs, we’re your independent option and we hope you’ll stop by.
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.