Love Live Local Takes A Deeper Look At Implications Of Shopping Local

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A recent study by the local business advocacy group Love Live Local has presented how shopping local has had a positive impact on Cape Cod’s economy.

The study presents a further comparative survey and data analysis detailing the impact of the independent and locally owned business community on Cape Cod. The report, “Local Matters: Spotlight on Service Providers,” demonstrates that local personal and professional service providers recirculate 50 percent to 85 percent more of their revenue into the local economy than their corporate competitors.

This is the third installment of the organization’s Local Matters series, which aims to demonstrate and emphasize that locally owned businesses are not only important partners in the employment of the domestic workforce, but they are also valuable wealth generators for their communities, along with providing intangibles like community character.

“With this third study, Love Live Local sought to expand the ‘shop local conversation’ to include business and personal service providers, alongside their retail and restaurant local business counterparts, since they too face challenges due to the proliferation of national chains and e-commerce giants,” Executive Director, Amanda Converse, explained in the report. “Local accountants and bookkeepers, printers, and information technology providers face competition from big box chains as well as online services. Fitness centers face national corporate competitors and a growing online marketplace that was intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local veterinary practices, dentist offices, real estate outfits and funeral homes are getting bought up by large corporations and private equity firms. And the local travel, legal, continuing education, and insurance sectors have all been negatively impacted by the rapid spread of online commerce.”

Key findings include:

  • Local service providers, such as those mentioned above, are an important contributor to the local economy, representing a $1.5 billion industry on Cape Cod and employing 9.1 percent of Cape Cod’s workforce.
  • Through local business surveys, there was enough data to analyze the impact of two personal and business service industries: fitness centers and accounting firms, which recirculate 50 percent to 85 percent more of their revenue into the local economy than their corporate competitors.
  • When comparing these local firms to a virtual or online service, the difference is even more dramatic. There is virtually no economic benefit to Barnstable County when using a business service that is not located on Cape Cod.

The quantitative data analysis was performed by consulting firm Civic Economics. The report was underwritten by the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod and Horizon Foundation.

Love Live Local plans to not only use this information as an educational tool, but also to do further research and evaluation of the challenges and issues impacting the small local businesses in the Cape Cod community.