Economic Impact of Local Independent Business
If you're looking for an overview of the multiplier effect and language you can use in outreach materials, we suggest starting here.
- Thinking Outside the Box: A Report on Independent Merchants and the New Orleans Economy
This 2009 study compares local independents and leading chain competitors and finds the independent New Orleans retailers generate twice the annual sales, recirculate revenues within the local economy at twice the rate, and have four times the economic impact per square foot while consuming a fraction of the land. In addition, a mere shift of 10% of shopping dollars currently spent with national retailers to local retailers would mean an additional $235 million into the regional economy annually and create hundreds of new jobs. Conversely, a 10% shift in the opposite direction, from independents to chains, would contract the economy to the same magnitude.
- Local Works: Examining the Impact of Local Business on the West Michigan Economy
This 2008 study demonstrates the major economic impact of even a 10% shift in total per capita spending from chains to locally owned independent businesses -- creation of almost $140 million in new economic activity and 1,600 new jobs for the region. The included examination of the economic impact of independent and chain businesses per-square-foot points to independent businesses as the recommended tenants for available commercial properties.
- Procurement Matters: The Economic Impact of Local Suppliers
- San Francisco Retail Diversity Study
This three-part study, released in May 2007, calculates the market share of independents and chains in several categories: book, sporting goods, and toy stores, and casual dining restaurants. The study's second section analyzes the impact on San Francisco's economy of shopping at locally owned businesses versus chains. The final -- and perhaps most important -- part examines the impact on the city's economy of a mere 10% shift in resident spending between chains and local businesses and vice versa, quantified in terms of added revenue and jobs to the community. While the numbers are specific to the San Francisco area, a reasonable "translation" can be inferred.
- Andersonville Study of Retail Economics
This report, released on October 20, 2004, extends the study done in Austin, Texas in 2003. The study compares 10 independent businesses and 10 chains in retail, restaurant and service sectors. The results further corroborate the local economic benefit of independent businesses, demonstrating that independents generate about 3 times the local economic activity as chains. Further, the researchers make the case for community governments to create policy to protect their independent businesses.
- The Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses vs. Chains: A Case Study in Midcoast Maine [PDF]
by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Midcoast Maine, September 2003. Findings of this study indicate that three times as much money stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses as with chains. This study tracked the revenue and expenditures of eight locally owned businesses in Midcoast Maine.
- Economic Impact study [PDF] in Austin, Texas (2002) substantiating the economic multiplier--of over three times--of two independent businesses, Waterloo Records and Book People, as compared to a Borders Books & Music Corp. store (planned for inclusion in a nearby--and publicly subsidized--development).
- Fiscal impact analysis [PDF] in Barnstable, Massachusetts (2002) that compares the tax revenue generated by different kinds of residential and commercial development with the actual cost of providing public services for each land use. Revenue gainers: community-based businesses; revenue losers: big boxes, fast food chains and strip malls.
- Released in October 2003, 10 Reasons Why Vermont's Homegrown Economy Matters: And 50 Proven Ways to Revive It is the result of two years of collaborative research by Stacy Mitchell of the New Rules Project and the Preservation Trust of Vermont on specific reasons why locally owned businesses matter and practical ways to plan for a homegrown economy, foster revitalization and unite independent businesses--no matter where you live.
See the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for the most current and comprehensive collection of related studies.