We believe you should buy local, supporting the locally-owned businesses in Moscow, because those independent businesses are the foundation of our local economy.
Remember that locally-owned businesses also buy local. They hire architects, designers, cabinet shops, sign makers and contractors for construction. Local accountants, insurance brokers, computer consultants, attorneys, advertising agencies help run the business. In addition, locally-owned retailers and distributors also carry a higher percentage of locally-produced goods than chains, meaning more jobs for local producers.
In contrast, a new chain store typically is a clone of other units, which eliminates the need for local preparation, and uses a minimum of local goods and services. A company-owned store's profits are promptly exported to corporate headquarters.
Dollars spent at community-based merchants create a multiplier effect in the local economy that, by most findings, typically amounts to three times that of a chain.
Though a single locally-owned retail shop may carry a smaller selection than a big chain store, a multiplicity of independent retailers creates greater diversity. When locally-owned shops serve local tastes and each owner's preferences, the result is a wider variety of ideas and products ? and a much greater opportunity for the creation, development, and sale of local products of all kinds.
As fewer giant corporations dominate production and sales, our options dwindle. We believe you should buy local, supporting the locally-owned businesses in Moscow, because those independent businesses are the foundation of our community's character. When asked to name our favorite restaurant, cafe, or shop, Moscow residents typically select one of our unique local businesses. Those businesses define our sense of place, but we often forget their survival depends on our patronage.
Local owners, typically having invested much of their life savings in their businesses, have a natural interest in the community's long-term health. Community-based businesses are essential to charitable endeavors, and their owners frequently serve on local boards and support numerous causes.
Yes, some chains give back to towns in which they do business, and not all local businesses are exemplary models. However, locally-owned businesses do play a vital role in our community?a role in which chain stores rarely serve.
As we spend money in our community, we are voting for the kind of community we want. When we support a business with our purchases, we need to remember the future we want for our home towns.
Please buy local when you shop in Moscow.
Economic Research Supports Buying Local
Recent research shows that locally-owned independent businesses form the core of a sustainable community. Increasing sales at local businesses keeps more money circulating within the community (the money does not flow to corporate administrators and stockholders, but instead is spent for local products and services), boosts donations to local charities, and increases the number of jobs available to local residents.
Here are just two examples of that research. In a 2008 study of the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area, (http://www.civiceconomics.com/localworks/), researchers discovered that if just 10% of the purchases by the 600,000 local residents shifted from corporate or franchise retailers to independent businesses that 1,614 new jobs would be created. In a 2003 study from Maine (http://newrules.org/retail/midcoaststudy.pdf ), researchers found that three times as many dollars spent in locally-owned businesses circulated within the community in comparison with dollars spent at corporate retailers. The same study showed that local businesses donated four times as much to local charities as corporate retailers. Many other similar studies, as well as books and magazine articles on this topic, are available through the American Independent Business Alliance (http://www.amiba.net/ ).