- By: Brandi Weikle, CLCS, WCCP, CPDM – Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency & Fresno Chamber Ambassador
I recently purchased a home which, of course, led to a plethora of updates, repair, and general maintenance. Floor coverings, paint, new window screens, and sprinkler repair were just a few of my focuses. And then there’s the monthly maintenance for things like pest control and alarms. I had a busy schedule and lots of choices to consider.
For me, buying local has always been an easy choice. We all have friends, family, or acquaintances that we prefer to do business with because it just feels better to do business with someone you know. You feel confident that you’re getting a fair deal and there’s a better chance that if you’re not satisfied, you’ll be taken care of. But what if you don’t have that connection? How important is it to consider a local business over that big box store, national chain, or online purchase? How does buying local truly effect YOU?
A 2012 study in Salt Lake City, Utah finds that buying from local retailers returns 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy vs. 14 percent for chain retailers.
Traditionally, I have been known to appreciate the eggplant parmesan from Luna Pizzeria in Clovis. I was shocked to find that local restaurants re-circulate an average of 79 percent of their revenue locally, compared to 30 percent for chain eateries.
We all know that internet has become a convenient way to shop. We can easily compare pricing and with the click of our mouse, we don’t even have to leave our home. I am quite certain that my children spend more time shopping on line than anywhere else. What opportunities are they missing?
Outside of the financial impact of the sales tax leaving the Central Valley, they are not building people skills or partnerships within their community. They are not interacting with others and learning the ins and outs of doing business. And most importantly…. They’re not venturing outside of my home! Does making a connection and giving their business to a local business owner give them an opportunity for a job now or in the future? Local businesses provide over 80% of the jobs in the United States. Supporting local business significantly boosts employment rates.
When the flow of money seeps outside of our local area, you are affected. Jobs are impacted, our tax dollars flow elsewhere, and our community misses opportunities to identify the potential to produce more locally. In today’s economy, it is important to stop for a minute and consider if you have a local choice. Now I’m not saying that you won’t catch me at the local Costco. I’ve got 3 kids for gosh sakes! But shifting even a small percentage of your shopping to a local business makes a significant difference. A 2007 San Francisco diversity study found that shifting just 10% of spending to local business would yield 200 Million in economic activity and create nearly 1,300 jobs within their community.
Today I am enjoying my home thanks to many local businesses. Thank you to Bus Archer of All American Remnants and Rolls and to Steve La Forti, to Paul Lopez of Countrywide Building Material, and to Steve Cloud of Fresno Distributing. Although slightly off of my beaten path, that couple of extra minutes and miles gave me customer satisfaction and a good deal! That being said, the bigger take away was a sense of pride in supporting our local community, which in turn, supports me!
So build a local partnership! Share your positive local business interactions with others! Provide positive feedback to local business owners! YOU have the power to financially strengthen our community! Now that’s STIMULATING!