Shopping Local: Just the Facts

Local businesses are at the heart of US communities, and with the rise of mega-retailers, many towns have organized to back their local stores.

Local businesses provide a slew of community benefits. They generate greater investment back into their local area, higher commitment from their workers, and even more sustainable environment practices.

As a consumer in your own community and even as a local business owner yourself, here are some eye-opening facts that may convince you to shift your consumer habits to be more local shopping-centric:

  • Small businesses generate $68 of local economic return for every $100 spent with them.
  • Over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy if every U.S. family spent just $10 a month at a local business.
  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7% of all U.S. employers.
  • Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to community causes.
  • Small businesses employ 58.9 million people.
  • Local business generates 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail.
  • Shipping produces 1 billion metric tons of C02 a year.
  • More than a quarter of small business owners are immigrants.
  • 48% of overall growth of U.S. business ownership is attributed to immigrant business owners.
  • 65% of Americans’ shopping budgets is still spent in-store.
  • 73% of searchers trust a local business more because of positive reviews.
  • 65 million local businesses have a Facebook page (but only four million are taking advantage of Facebook advertising products).
  • 61% shop at local businesses because of their unique product selection.
  • 56% of workers at locally owned businesses have high commitment scores.
  • Minnesota is the best large state for local businesses.
  • South Dakota is the best small state for local businesses.
  • Pittsburgh is the best metropolitan area for local businesses.

Shoppers provided the following reasons when they were asked Why do shoppers prefer small and local retailers? Those surveyed gave these reasons:

  • Local businesses offer a unique product (61%)
  • I couldn’t find what I needed from bigger businesses (49%)
  • I want to support the community or small businesses (40%)
  • I like to try new retailers (29%)
  • Local businesses provide an innovative shopping experience (24%)

Source: (by Maggie Shepherd, contributing writer)

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.