By Councilman Rick Heumann
The holiday shopping season is not far off, and each year I like to remind residents of the importance of shopping local. There are many great retailers that call Chandler home. People who have invested heavily in the community and rely on your support. By shopping local, we’re investing in our City on a number of levels—and the results can be quite surprising.
Based on a recent study cited on the Local First Arizona website, if a community the size of Tucson shifted just 10% of its spending from nonlocal to local businesses, the move would have an impact of 1,600 new jobs, $53 million in new wages and a total economic impact of more than $130 million.
Local First Arizona is a nonprofit that provides business directories and other tools to assist in making consumer decisions. According to another study on its website, local retailers return an average of 52% of their revenue to the local economy, compared with just 14% for the chain retailers. Similarly, local restaurants recirculate an average of 79% of their revenue locally, compared to 30% for chain eateries.
Local business owners also tend to have a more vested interest in the region. They look for opportunities to conduct business with other companies within our city or the state that benefit Chandler and other neighboring Arizona communities. Studies show they also are more likely to give back to the community through corporate giving, aiding area food banks and other social service agencies, and supporting cultural events.
Shopping online, though convenient, hurts our local economy as well. Sales tax revenue generated from transactions within the city limits, support our local economy. Many core municipal services such as police and fire protection, parks and recreation programs, library services, and road construction and maintenance would simply not be possible without these funds.
I’ve also found that I get better service from a local business, as they tend to better understand their products and depend more on brand loyalty. And finally, local businesses tend to better diversify our employment base and overall economy—an advantage for all of us.
The City of Chandler also encourages businesses and residents to become involved with the “Invest Wisely, Shop Chandler” campaign. By supporting a local business, you can be proud to know your dollars are put back into the community, making it stronger and more vibrant. As you prepare your next shopping list, think about where and how you want to spend your money.
To learn more about why it is beneficial to shop local, visit localfirstaz.com.