Top Reasons to Buy Local, Eat Local, Go Local

(with documentation to back them!)

By choosing local and independent businesses for your services, shopping, dining and other needs, you not only enjoy a more distinctive and personal experience, you’re helping:

BUILD COMMUNITY!
The casual encounters you enjoy at neighborhood–scale businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and community cohesiveness. (source 1, source 5) They’re the ultimate social networking sites!

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STRENGTHEN YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY!
Each dollar you spend at independent businesses returns 3 times more money (source 2) to your local economy than one spent at a chain (almost 50 times more than buying from an online mega-retailer) — a benefit we all can bank on.

SHAPE OUR CHARACTER!
Independent businesses help give your community its distinct personality.

YOU CAN BUY IT WHERE YOU TRY IT!
Local stores enable you to try on and try out items before you buy — and get real expertise — saving your time and money. To learn more on this topic, see 7 Ways Businesses and Communities Can Counter Showrooming

CREATE A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT!
Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution. (source 3)  More on this topic: Buying Green Means Buying Local.

LOWER TAXES!
More efficient land use and more central locations mean local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services. They also generate more tax revenue per sales dollar. The bottom line: a greater percentage of local independent businesses keeps your taxes lower. (source 4)  

GET REAL VALUE FOR YOURSELF!
Reader surveys by the Consumers Union repeatedly show independent businesses beating their chain competitors in overall customer satisfaction (and often save you money).

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ENHANCE CHOICES!
A wide variety of independent businesses, each serving their customers’ tastes, creates greater overall choice for all of us.

INCREASE WEALTH OF RESIDENTS!
The multiplier effect created by spending locally generates lasting impact on the prosperity of local organizations and residents. (source 6

CREATE JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES!
Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, etc., expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY!
Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams compared to big businesses. (source 5

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ENHANCE LOCAL DEMOCRACY!
Local ownership of business means residents with roots in the community are involved in key development decisions that shape our lives and local environment.

ENHANCE HEALTH OF RESIDENTS!
Research shows a strong correlation between the percentage of small locally-owned firms and various indicators of personal and community health and vitality. (source 7

Note: while we provide these bullets on a single page to provide you a convenient and thorough reference, we advise pro-local business groups to scatter individual reasons throughout your materials or website and not present a list. Your readers will absorb far more if they see these one at a time. We provide several free graphics to make it easy for you to share the messages online (ask for print-resolution versions) or in print.

Please link to this page for the full list and data sources. We regularly update with the best available data — this helps build your credibility (and is better for your search engine rankings than copying or paraphrasing content).