Study Shows Local Businesses Keep More Money In Local Economy

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Love Live Local, a small business advocacy organization on Cape Cod, has released the findings of their study called “Local Matters: Measuring Impact,” which determined that dollars spent at locally owned businesses generate more local prosperity.

The primary purpose of the study was to quantify and assess the impact of Cape Cod’s independent and locally owned businesses on Cape Cod’s economy. The comparative survey and subsequent analysis were performed by Chicago-based consulting firm, Civic Economics, which has performed more than 20 similar studies in other communities across the country.

“We felt like this was a very important moment to highlight the contributions of small, local businesses to the Cape Cod community.,” Love Live Local CEO, Amanda Converse, said. “So many of our local businesses are facing incredibly challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we wanted to remind both consumers and policy makers how important it is to our region’s economic sustainability to support them in every way possible….it is also important to note that when dollars are spent online, virtually none of it stays on Cape Cod.”

Some of the key findings from the report:

  • Retailers and restaurants on Cape Cod return a total of 50 percent and 55.7 percent respectively, of all revenue to the local economy, whereas national chain retail stores recirculate an average of 13.6 percent of all revenue within the local markets that host its stores, and national chain restaurants return an average of 30.4 percent of all revenue to the local economy.
  • Retailers provide 75 percent more jobs per square foot and restaurants 20 percent more per square foot than nationally owned businesses.
  • Cape Cod hotels employ 11 percent more people than their corporate counterparts per $1 million in revenue.
  • If Amazon’s online sales in Barnstable County had occurred in independent retailers, they would support 125 additional retail outlets and 1,739 additional jobs.
  • Shifting 10 percent of spending to local retailers would put an additional $112 million in the local economy every year.

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.

“The numbers only tell part of the story,” Converse said, “and so we look forward to working with the businesses surveyed to tell the stories behind the numbers.”

The organization also plans to look at the impact of corporatization on other economic sectors beyond hospitality, as well as public policy decisions and legislation that may favor larger businesses over mom and pop shops.

The report was made possible by Love Live Local’s Mission Supporters: Cape Cod Five, Mid-Cape Home Centers, Nauset Disposal, Cape Cod Young Professionals and Duffy Health Center.

To read the full report go to lovelivelocal.com/localmatters

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