Local businesses across the country now have a new champion in the form of Independent We Stand, a national movement of independent business owners educating their communities on the benefits of shopping at local stores.
"This project began as a way to inform friends and neighbors on one of the best ways to revive our economy: buy local," said Bill Brunelle, Independent We Stand spokesperson. "Buying products and services from people who work and live in your town means more money goes back to your local area. Through taxes, payrolls, and the business owner's own local purchases, that reinvestment stays where you live, making your own community a better place."
Independently owned businesses provide numerous benefits to their local economies that most people might not be aware of. According to recent studies*:
- When you spend $100 at an independent business, $68 returns to the local community. Spend that same amount at a national chain and it drops to $43.
- Small business accounts for 75% of all new jobs.
- Locally owned businesses reinvest in the local economy at a 60% higher rate than chains and internet retailers.
- Small businesses create more than half the non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).
- Locally owned and operated businesses create higher-paying jobs for you and your neighbors.
- More of your tax dollars are reinvested in your community to fund local schools, hire more police officers and improve roads.
The Independent We Stand website also provides tools for businesses and consumers to further the cause. The newly launched site, IndependentWeStand.org, features a database of locally owned businesses across the country, a resource center for business owners to share news and statistics on the importance of buying local, and posters and flyers to help promote the message.
"All socially responsible businesses, big or small, help our economy remain vibrant," said Brunelle. "Our goal with Independent We Stand, however, is to give locally owned, independent businesses a bigger voice to talk about the important contributions they make."
Independent We Stand is funded in part by STIHL Inc., a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment that has never sold its products through mass merchants and sells through thousands of independently owned servicing dealers across the country. For more information, to pledge your support for locally owned businesses, or to register your own business in the database, visit www.independentwestand.org.
About Independent We Stand
Independent We Stand is a movement of independent business owners across the country to inform their communities about the importance of “Buying Local” and how these efforts bolster their local economy. This movement supports all local and national causes committed to boosting local economic development projects. The Independent We Stand movement is powered by STIHL Inc.
*Sources: U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Small Business Nation; Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics; Civic Economics – San Francisco Report on Retail Diversity; U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
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