March 6, 2015

Shopping local builds community. Here’s why.

By Caroline Culler (Wgreaves) (Own work)
As a real estate agent, one of my biggest concerns is ensuring that local real estate values continue to appreciate as neighborhoods improve, businesses grow, and people are able to sustain safe, prosperous relationships with their neighbors. There are many factors which contribute to this, but one of the most important steady investments you can make in your community is by shopping local, independent businesses.

Whether it’s the holiday season pushing you to peruse a downtown district, or simply picking up a few things for your everyday needs, making the choice to shop locally and independently can contribute hugely. Consider these economic statistics gathered from a range of credible sources by “Independent We Stand” (, a website dedicated to helping small, local, and independent businesses thrive:

  Small businesses accounted for 65% of all net new jobs over the past 17 years.
  Small businesses employ 77 million Americans.
  89% of consumers agree that independent businesses contribute positively to local economies.
  Residential neighborhoods served by a successful independent business district gained, on average, 50% more in home values than their citywide markets.
  Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors. Independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains.
  If independent businesses regained their 1990 market shares, it would create 200,000 new small businesses, generate nearly $300 billion in revenues and employ more than 1.6 million American workers.
  If just half the U.S.  employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.
  For every square foot a local firm occupies, the local economy gains $179 vs. $105 for a chain store.

Shopping for the rock-bottom price might just short your community in ways you didn’t realize. Try and see your purchases locally as an investment in your home and your neighborhood. The next time you’re thinking of shopping, see where you can do business with people who live and work nearby. Shop local! Shop independent!

If you’re looking for referrals to some of the best small businesses in our area, including insurance agents, bankers, and contractors, please get in touch! I’m happy to connect you to my network:

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