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Ten Reasons

SOURCE: Civic Economics - "Local Works!" Study, 2008. Commissioned by Local First

According to an independent study commissioned by Local First and conducted by Civic Economics, approximately 73% more money stays in West Michigan when consumers choose locally owned and independent businesses. By supporting locally owned businesses over their national competitors, we are supporting our community:

The Top 10 Reasons to Choose Local First


  • Significantly More Money Recirculates in West Michigan

 When  you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than non-local businesses, more money is kept in the community because local businesses frequently purchase from other local businesses. Purchasing local goods and services helps grow area businesses as well as the West Michigan tax base.

  • Unique Businesses Create Character and Prosperity

The unique character of West Michigan is what brought us here and keeps us here. Our tourism businesses also benefit.

  • Environmental Impact is Reduced

Local businesses make more local purchases and require less transportation. They are usually located in the town or city center rather than the outskirts. This reduces urban sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

  • Most New Jobs are Provided by Locally Owned Businesses

Small, locally owned businesses are the largest employers in the United States.

  • Nonprofits Receive Greater Support

Local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners.

  • Customer Service is Better

Local businesses often hire people with more specific product or service expertise.

  • Local Business Owners Invest in Community

Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the city's future.

  • Public Benefits Far Outweigh Public Costs

Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure and more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores.

  • Competition and Diversity Leads to More and Better Choices

A marketplace of several small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

  • Investment in Greater Grand Rapids is Encouraged

A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

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