Since 2002, a growing number of studies have quantified the local economic benefits delivered by independent businesses, demonstrating locally-owned independent businesses return much more of each dollar in revenue to their communities than chains (i.e. the local premium).
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) underwrote the cost of economic impact studies for 10 cities where ABA members that also are members of an Independent Business Alliance or similar group raised funds to supplement their support. The firm Civic Economics evaluated the local economic impact of retailers in all 10 cities and also studied restaurants in five of these. While we reported Salt Lake City's results in August, new studies were just released from (links all are pdf) Louisville, KY, Milwaukee, WI, Ogden, UT, and the Six Corners area of Chicago. The data continue to demonstrate findings consistent with previous studies.