Buy Local – It Helps Us All

I was born and raised in Tempe, my grandmother started a restaurant in 1963 that continues to serve the East Valley, my mother shopped for grocery’s at Smitty’s, we ate breakfast at Harlow’s and dinner at the Spaghetti Bowl. Yet for so many years I’ve been drinking Starbucks coffee. I’ve even had a Starbucks Gold Card since they introduced the program (which really means I probably drink too much coffee).  So I’m a little ashamed to say that I haven’t been doing a better job of supporting my own community but I ended that habit this week after attending a workshop presented by Kimber Lanning and Local First Arizona.

It comes down to this…

  • For every $100 spent a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy.
  • For every $100 spent a non-locally owned business only $43 remains in the local economy.

Take a look at the chart below, both employ local staff but the difference gets bigger when is the local business gets more of its supplies from other local businesses, hires its accountant, graphic designer, photographer, print shop, etc usually from here. That non-local business hires its account, graphic designer, etc from outside our state. Here’s an article from Time, “Buying Local: How It Boosts the Economy” explaining how it works.

Did you know?

  • For every two jobs national retailers bring to a community, three jobs are lost as a result of local businesses closing down.
  • When you shop locally owned businesses, your money is re-circulated over and over and creates up to 75% more tax revenue to our community and state.
  • Independent businesses raise the standard of living in your community because they take their profits and buy products and services from other local businesses, thus creating more and more tax revenues needed for the community to thrive.
  • Millions of dollars of tax revenue subsidies handed to chains by financially-starved local governments drain even more tax revenue from our community and state.
  • Blighted empty shopping areas are created in your community when chain stores re-locate to a more lucrative shopping center, or leave altogether. Literally hundreds of big stores are abandoned each year across the United States.
  • Independent businesses are unique enterprises that contribute to the character of our community by offering a more diverse selections of goods and services.
  • Independent businesses provide meaningful service with a personal touch. It matters to them that you are satisfied and will come back again.
  • Carefully planned predatory pricing practices have allowed national chains to establish virtual monopolies as they drive local competition out of business. And then they raise their prices.

Make a difference with a few simple steps:

So Local First Arizona, Everardo Keeme Photography and over 2000 other Arizona businesses are asking your to SHIFT THE WAY YOU SHOP, by shifting a minimum of 10% of your spending to a locally-owned business. You can read all about it at shiftarizona.com and here’s an article from Bloomberg, “10 percent: The Local Stimulus” with more on this topic.

  • Make a decision to find and patronize a locally owned business, wherever possible. Use our business directory to locate businesses offering specific goods or services, or you can view a complete list of Local First Arizona member businesses and the categories in which they are listed.
  • Dine at a local, independent restaurant and treat yourself to a unique and personal dining experience.
  • When you shop online with out-of-state companies, it doesn’t contribute a dime to the local economy. So check for members who offer the same products locally, and some even deliver.
  • Look for the Local First Arizona logo when you shop and tell other independent businesses about Local First Arizona.
  • Tell your associates, family, and friends what is happening and why. We all create our communities. Let’s create strong and vibrant communities as a legacy for those who follow.
  • Support Local First Arizona by donating, or join us as a member business or friend.

What is Local First Arizona?

Local First Arizona (LFA) is a non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting, maintaining, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona.

We educate citizens, stakeholders, business leaders, and legislators about the significant environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of strong local economies. We build vibrant communities that make residents proud to call home.

*Much of the information here is provided by Local First Arizona and can be found at www.localfirstaz.com and www.shiftarizona.com

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