Why Local Business Matters

Topics: American Independent Business Alliance, Industry trade groups based in the United States, Shopping mall Pages: 3 (1088 words) Published: February 20, 2012

Why Local MattersThe Benefits of Doing Business LocallyBy Jeff Milchen In the smallest towns, bustling cities, and everything in between, more citizens lament losing a sense of community and local character. Meanwhile, national chains continue displacing locally owned businesses countrywide. This trend of homogenization is considered symptomatic of our loss of community orientation, but could it also be a primary cause?  And what are the economic costs to our communities as absentee-owned chains displace locally owned businesses? Of course, we usually choose to do business where we perceive the best value for our time and money.  But in an age where we’re bombarded with thousands of corporate advertisements daily, perceptions may differ widely from reality. It's as easy to accept themes promoted in those corporate ads as it is to overlook the values independent businesses provide us, both personally and in our communities. The disappearance of local businesses leaves a social and economic void that is palpable and—even when it goes unmeasured, and a community's quality of life changes in ways that macroeconomics is slow to measure (or ignores completely).   Local officials often fall for the seductions and political appeal of national chains and may even use public funds or tax rebates to lure them.  They're baited with promises of jobs and tax revenue, but they often fail to consider the greater losses that occur when the local business base is undermined.   Publicity for a chain “superstore” may boast that it will create 300 new jobs, but numerous studies indicate they displace as many jobs as they create.  And when communities like Barnstable, Mass., studied the local impact of chains, they concluded such development actually costs more taxpayer dollars to support in safety and services than the community would reap.   In other words, when new big boxes come to town, expect to pay more taxes...
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