Buy Local campaigns are sprouting up all over the country. Most seem to be very successful because most people say they want to buy local. And most people who want to buy local will do when the price is competitive. If price is not competitive then it is off to the big box stores or to the computer to buy online.
So what are other reasons that people shop locally? In 2010, market-research firm Synovate eNation asked 1,000 Americans, “What makes you choose to patronize a small, local, independent business over a larger chain?” The top three answers were:
- I want to support my community;
- The local merchant is more conveniently located; and
- The service is more personal.
Another survey of interest was conducted in 2011 by the Institute for Local Self Reliance, a nonprofit research and educational organization. It revealed that having a Buy Local organization makes a big difference in spending habits for the communities they serve. Among the results are as follows:
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that public awareness of the benefits of supporting locally-owned businesses had increased in the last year, while 24 percent said it had stayed the same and only 3 percent said it had decreased;
- 45 percent of businesses reported that the campaign had brought new customers to their business;
- 55 percent said the Buy Local Campaign increased the loyalty of existing customers.
- 68 percent said that the campaign led to an increase in local media coverage of independent businesses;
- 51 percent said that the campaign made local government officials more aware and supportive of the needs of independent businesses; and
- 49 percent said it had led to more collaboration, purchasing, and mutual support among local businesses.