American Express Open conducted a study of 600 retail small business owners and managers on Buying Local. The goal was to get impressions of whether or not there was a trend, did it actually exist and to understand the effect on their businesses. Of the retailers polled:
- 51 % said they believe there is indeed a growing “buy local” sentiment in the United States.
- 55 % believe that buy local campaigns can help small businesses compete in challenging economic times.
- 57 % are planning local campaigns in 2011.
- 20% plan to give more of their business to local businesses in 2011.
- 36 % of small retailers say the biggest incentive for consumers to buy at local, independent businesses is ‘better customer service’.
- 16% said second biggest incentive is supporting the community by creating local jobs
Buying Local supports your local business, decreases taxes, lowers the price of goods and increases jobs and helps local business owners invest in your community. As a by product it also lessens your carbon footprint. It is also a great marketing tool for eyecare professional to compete with online retailers. Doug and Marianne D’Amico of Europtics in Encinitas shows us how he does it.
We here in Encinitas, California have a city wide program called Buy Local Encinitas. Some stores that are part of the program offer discounts to locals. In Doug’s (Europtics) case, local receive a 10% discount on all products . Included are local banks which offer free checking, Chiropractors, Hair Salons and more. If your local city/ town has a program like this, you might consider getting involved.
I also wear one of Doug buttons. This might be an opportunity to synergize with your local merchants for the same concept. The more stores/ offices displaying signs can bring about a public awareness of the importance of supporting local business.
Buying local and walking to your neighborhood store saves money (less gas) decreases pollution, traffic congestion. Another added advantage, you get to know your merchants which helps to build a better community.