Publisher's Note: The importance of local dollars
By Jody Reese
In this new year, we at Hippo want to do more to support local businesses over national chains or Internet retailers. We can’t control the national economy and we won’t have much influence on things far away, but we can make a difference locally — we all can.
Of $100 spent at a chain store, only $14 stays in the community, according to a 2003 study of Bath and Belfast, Maine. For a local business, $55 stays in the community. That means more jobs and more support for the local economy for every dollar you send a local business. At Hippo, we’ve figured out that about $85 out of every $100 we spend stays in the local community.
Locally owned businesses donate a much higher rate to local charities than chains do. In the Maine example, locally-owned businesses donated $4,000 for every $1 million in sales while Wal-Mart donated $1,000.
So why not spend your money at locally owned businesses? In most cases the quality is better, and pricing is usually much more competitive than expected.
Imagine if we all decided to spend just a little more locally. Folks in this area spend billions each year on goods and services; moving just a fraction of that money to local businesses would pump hundreds of millions more into the local economy. The impact would be huge.
And, as resolutions go, it’s not that difficult. It’s much easier than working out everyday.