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Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | 17 Comments | Updated on Dec 10, 2012 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at


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1.  Local Character and Prosperity

In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.

2.  Community Well-Being

Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.

3. Local Decision-Making

Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

4.  Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy

Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

5.  Job and Wages

Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

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6.  Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

7.  Public Benefits and Costs

Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.

8.  Environmental Sustainability

Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

9.  Competition

A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

10.  Product Diversity

A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

© Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

Contact Stacy   |   View all articles by Stacy Mitchell

  • George Lewis

    I love your site! I’m looking to form several sites to help local businesses unite with their loyal customers and form our own “buyers club” so we can have a united voice that will let large corporations know that we want them to stop outsourcing jobs (including factories) and start being more patriotic and help local communities be self sufficient…

    I’ve been in sales and marketing for over 22 years for large corporations like AT&T and Office Depot Business Division (and seen how these companies outsource their jobs and buy mainly from overseas – which is why I no longer work for them and have dedicated myself to helping local business thrive: here are my ideas – which I’m open to developing with partners: (my original idea was to create a local search engine – but then Google turned all their results local 🙁 ) – I’d like individuals to “occupy their local businesses” and start buying stuff – thus sending a message to the 1% (that has outsourced manufacturing – and everything else) so that they stop wasting fuel and polluting the planet shipping things thousands of miles – and making our economy go down the drain… I have to help get the word out through tshirts people can buy… (I’m very excited about this one becoming a social mobile local specials service!)

  • Michael from

    Great article. If only more people supported local small businesses… it is by far the best thing to do to support your local community. More of your dollars stay in your community and this is good for many reasons, including home values in neighborhoods…What? Yes this is true, even the value of your home goes up, shopping local is more important than people think. Most people don’t realize how important it is to support their local small businesses. Thanks for sharing this great info.

  • Alan

    We are fully committed to supporting our local businesses. We are campaigning ‘Support Local’ with what supporting local does is
    – keeps money in the local economy
    – creates more choice
    – embraces what makes us unique
    – makes our locality a destination

  • Tim

    Im sick of the super powers, but I only know of a few locally owned businesses out here in albuquerque… Is there a way to get a list of locally owned companies?

  • Stacy Mitchell

    @Tim Check out the member directory of the Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance:

  • andrew whites

    Most independent stores are just waiting to be collapsed when the big boys move in…..

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