Why the Best Buying Locale is Local

February 03, 2017


Small businesses can be found everywhere that you look: a mom-and-pop shop down the block, the white service vans you see when you drive around town, yard signs letting passersby know exactly who made that lawn look so good. BBB helps local businesses not only because things should be done the right way, but because we aim to better our communities through better business.


For every $100 that was spent at a nationwide chain store, $13 stayed within the local economy.

For every $100 spent at locally-owned and operated businesses, $45 stayed in the local economy.


For every $10 million spent at local businesses, 57 jobs are created.

For the same amount of money spent at Amazon, a mere 14 jobs are created.


And local businesses are the largest employer in the entire country!


By supporting local businesses you’re not only stimulating the local economy, but you’re also helping to create and maintain jobs for other members of your community. That's why BBB is so driven to work with our fellow Michiganders. 

One of the biggest reasons to shop locally involves the term “money velocity.” Money velocity refers to how quickly the same piece of money circulates through an economy. The faster money circulates, the more people have it to spend; the more people that have had it and spent it, the more benefit the community has gleaned from that same amount of money. By buying from larger corporations, the money velocity is decreased; that amount of money doesn’t pass through as many hands before leaving the community, so the benefit of it is lessened.

Shopping locally also helps to better your community. Local businesses aren't stagnant, faceless entities, they focus on local needs and reinvest their time and money to help meet those needs; people helping people. Whether it's planning to buy a "biodigester", teaching others about local sustainability best practices, or helping build a house with Habitat for Humanity, businesses give back and they do so to the benefit of West Michigan.

And It may seem counterintuitive, but by spending more money locally, you’re working to make your community more prosperous. A lot of consumers resist buying what they need locally; oftentimes they’ll bring up the higher prices for products, or the lack of variety at a local grocery store instead of at Meijer. We aren’t here to tell you that those arguments aren’t valid; we’re here to tell you that regardless of those arguments, buying locally is one of the absolute best things that you can do for your community.

Small businesses also assist with making contributions to regional growth; the Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development, defines regional growth strategy (RGS) as “a local government strategic plan to promote human settlement that is socially, economically and environmentally healthy and that makes efficient use of public facilities, land and other resources.” The focus on RGS tends to be a long-term view of community growth and development, and is a process that local businesses can be involved with as well as aid in implementing. The future and health of your community is vitally important to your local businesses; they need you just as much as you need them. 


As important as local businesses are to the health of our communities, it’s important to remember that we are responsible for holding our local businesses accountable; that’s why organizations like BBB exist. A rising tide raises all ships.


Become Accredited, and partner with BBB to better West Michigan.


To learn more about the Better Business Bureau organization check out this page.


To find trusted local businesses near you, search BBB's directory here.