Why Local Matters

  • In a 2012 national poll, respondents said that having locally owned businesses nearby is the #1 factor in creating an ideal community.
  • A 2011 study found that “counties with a vibrant small-business sector have lower rates of mortality and a lower prevalence of obesity and diabetes” than counties without one.
  • Studies of both agricultural and manufacturing communities found that places with a diversity of small-scale enterprises had higher levels of civic participation and better social outcomes than those dominated by a few outside corporations.
  • Each dollar spent at a local, independent merchant generates up to four times as much wealth in the local economy as a dollar spent at a chain-owned business, due to the local multiplier effect.
  • Local retailers and distributors are not only more likely than chains to hire locally, but they carry a higher percentage of locally produced goods.
  • Farmers who sell items locally tend to be smaller scale and can more feasibly adopt environmentally beneficial practices such as growing diverse crops, planting cover crops, leaving habitat buffers for native biodiversity, and integrating crop and livestock production.

How much stays local chart2

Source: BALLE & the Center for a New American Dream’s Guide to Going Local

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