Shopping locally and supporting small business is the focus of National Independent Retailer Month, which is celebrated throughout the month of July.
Independent Retailer Month is a promotional campaign designed to show consumers the value of doing business with an independent retailer, and a time when communities can celebrate the diversity of local independent retail and stimulate the local economy.
According to the website IndependentRetailerMonth.com, Independent Retailer Month USA was born in July 2011 with the goal to become a global campaign highlighting the important role local merchant’s play in the community, economy and overall retail sector. The campaign has since expanded to Canada and the United Kingdom.
The movement has three major objectives:
- To impact the independent retail sector globally with relevant support, expertise and insights
- To connect consumers and communities to local retail merchants by reminding them of the benefits of shopping local
- To engage small business organizations, networks and thought leaders to demonstrate the importance of independent retail to the global, national and local economy
The website also provides a list of interesting facts and figures about independent retailers, including:
- Only 6 cents of every dollar spent with a big box retailer stays in the community. For a chain store, it’s 20 cents of every dollar. But every dollar spent with a sole proprietorship keeps 60 cents circulating in the community.
- When consumers shop locally-owned businesses, the money they spend stays in the community three times longer. That’s because local businesses and artists tend to buy from local suppliers and hire local service providers.
- A dollar spent at a locally-owned store is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community, creating $5 to $14 in value within that community for every dollar spent. Compare that to a dollar spent at a national chain store, 80 percent of which leaves town immediately.
- For every square foot occupied by a local firm, the impact on the local economy is $179. That same square foot occupied by a chain store results in a local impact of only $105.
- Local businesses tend to give more to community causes and support local media. Local non-profit organizations are supported largely by local businesses, as are local media that rely on business advertising.
- Local business owners and employees often have more knowledge and expertise, which means they can offer better customer service.
- Local businesses generally require less infrastructure investment from local government, lowering both the initial and ongoing maintenance costs to taxpayers.
- Local businesses usually have less of an environmental impact. They typically establish themselves in the town center or in existing commercial corridors, and they often buy locally-produced products, services and materials, which reduces pollution caused by transporting goods over long distances.
- Local businesses provide the most new jobs nationally, and new local businesses have the potential to create high-paying jobs in the form of business ownership. They can also collectively achieve a larger local economy by finding new small niches often missed by non-local businesses.
TransFirst® salutes local small businesses, which account for many of our satisfied payment processing customers, and we wish them all a great National Independent Retailer Month.