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Shopping Independent Local Stores This Holiday Season Should Be on Your List

Burlington Town Green

The National Retail Federation announced that it expects holiday retail sales in November and December — excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion. The forecast compares with an average annual increase of 3.9 percent over the past five years.

“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

“Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year. While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”

However, several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms — further strengthening the economic base of the whole community.

In Burlington — heavily based on property taxes —  could significantly benefit from local shopping.

In Bristol, it helps keep storefronts filled and provides a proven track record as a town to do business in. All of these topics apply to the so many quirky and awesome local shops. These shops have truly unique items.

Shopping locally benefits not only yourself – but your community as well. First and foremost, you create local jobs.

And, according to an article on Independent We Stand entitled What Happens When You Shop Local, by shopping at a local business versus a corporate, more money will be kept in your local economy.

The article says that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 will stay in the community, versus the $43 that will at a national chain.

When you choose locally owned businesses for your shopping, you create a ripple effect. It starts with your own experience and the benefits that you get from shopping at independent stores, like getting to rely on local retailers’ expertise.

But then, the effects keep going. By shopping at local stores, you connect with your community. You strengthen your local economy. And finally, as the circle of ripples extends out, you cast a vote to support your community.

Did You Know?

  • 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.

Sources: Small Business Administration; Intuit Small Business Innovation Study; American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index; Civic Economics/American Booksellers Assoc., U.S. Dept. of Labor

 

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