October 24, 2019

The Examiner is announcing the beginning of its “Buy Local” campaign highlighting area businesses and encouraging the community to shop at home to improve economic growth and keep their hard-earned dollars circulating throughout Southeast Texas. 

“It’s an initiative we’re starting, and we believe in this because it’s been established that local businesses contribute more to the community than big box stores in terms of uniqueness and positive economic impact,” Examiner Publisher Don Dodd described. “We need to let people know how important it is that we support these local businesses.”

Locally owned businesses not only create jobs for local people, but they generally offer more scheduling flexibility than big box stores and many national chains, which can be helpful for people who need income but cannot work full time, like young people going to high school or college, retired people looking for supplemental income, or even parents who only want to work part-time to have more time with their children. Employing local people also means more money stays within the community. Local businesses buying goods and services from other local businesses also infuses more money into the Southeast Texas economy. It’s called the multiplier effect. According to the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), the local economic multiplier effect, or “local premium,” results from the fact that independent locally owned businesses recirculate a far greater percentage of revenue back into the local economy compared to absentee-owned businesses/national chains. According to AMIBA, using data from nine studies by private research group Civic Economics, “On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses was re-circulated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.”

That means buying locally produces three times the positive economic impact as buying from a chain store. With restaurants, the local return is even greater. A Civic Economics survey of independent businesses in Spring 2014 indicated that locally owned, independent restaurants included in the results recirculated just over 77% of revenue into the local economy, while national chains only recirculated merely 30.4% into local economies where they are located. 

But it’s not just about money and jobs. It’s about variety – and, it’s about a community that cares. 

“It’s the local interaction, the local flavor,” said Dodd. “Local restaurants are the ones where you’re going to get Cajun food, local flavors. 

“If you need somebody to sponsor your Little League team, or your bowling team, or your kid’s soccer team, it’s not the big box store that’s going to give you money for uniforms. It’s the locally owned businesses that are going to do that. So, we think it’s important to support them.”