When you go out for lunch or run an errand, where does the money you’re spending actually go? Thanks to a new company called SWICH, you can find out just how much of your money goes to support businesses that have positive impacts on the local community. And better yet, you’ll get recommendations about how you can improve your impact as well.
SWICH’s process begins with a business. First, SWICH uses a combination of data from third-party organizations and experts, and crowd-sourced information to award scores to local businesses. Businesses are graded based on five categories: health, local, environment, workers and citizenship. High scores result from practices that benefit you and your community, like organic and locally produced goods, recycling, high wages and charitable donations. In each category, businesses score a zero, one or two, with zero as the worst and two as the best. Add all the category totals together and you get the business’ score on SWICH.
SWICH then matches up these business scores with your spending to determine your personal SWICH Score – that is, the percentage of money you spend at businesses that benefit you and your community.
SWICH started in 2014 in New York City, with more than 10,000 businesses already scored in the Big Apple alone. The company is now expanding nationwide and will soon launch a mobile app. It’s all part of SWICH’s mission to help consumers “SWICH” their spending habits to local-friendly and socially responsible businesses.
Making SWICH-approved spending choices could go a long way. SWICH estimates that if each American were to switch one percent of his or her spending to SWICH-approved businesses, the United States would reduce its energy consumption by three percent and create at least 200,000 living-wage jobs annually. In just one year, local economies could see a $29 billion increase in economic activity.
SWICH helps people use their money for more than just their retail needs. As the SWICH score comes to businesses across the country, consumers can spend money to make their community a better place to live and work. For more information, visit http://swich.to.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering at www.independentwestand.org/membership/. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local and find local businesses in your community at www.independentwestand.org/take-a-stand/join-the-movement/.