One way to create more jobs in Newberry is for us all to “shop local”. Shop local means we purchase as much as we can from locally owned businesses. This creates jobs because, as economic research shows, local businesses put more of their revenue back into the community than do non-local businesses. For example, a study in Michigan County found that if residents shifted just 10% of their purchases to local businesses it would add 1,600 jobs and $53 million in payroll[i]. This same study found that for every $1 million of revenue a locally owned business generates about $900,000 of it goes back into the local economy. On the other hand, a non-locally owned business, for every $1 million of revenue, will only put $600,000 back into the community. Also, a locally owned business will create 15 jobs for every 10 that a non-locally owned business creates. When we compare these, it is obvious which businesses your commission should be proactively seeking out[ii].
Another study in Illinois found that on average a locally owned business generates $179 per square foot of economic activity while a non-locally owned generates just $105. This can translate into higher commercial property value which is one way to create lower personal property taxes.[iii] Simply put, this means you pay less when your commissioners support local business.
Finally, a third study in Maine found that local businesses returned 3 times as much money to the community as did big chain stores.[iv]
Clearly, spending more of our money at local businesses can create more jobs in Newberry. So, the question becomes how can the City help?
- First, we should educate our own workforce. From the Commission on, we should be role models for local purchasing.
- Second, we need to use our communication channels to educate our residents.
- Third, we need to support the Chamber if it chooses to enact a “buy-local” campaign.
[i] Local Works: Examining the impact of local businesses on the W. Michigan economy. Civic economics. September 2008.
[iii] The Andersonville study of retail economics. Civic economics, October, 2004.
[iv] The Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses vs. Chains: A Case Study in Midcoast Maine
by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Midcoast Maine, September 2003.