Local Businesses Are What Really Count in Buffalo

Impact Study of Local Businesses

How do we guarantee a thriving future for our city? We focus on creating a thriving local economy today. Buffalo’s got a strong community magnetism toward supporting local businesses. Take a stroll down one of the main veins of the city and see all of the familiar faces in the slew of locally- and independently-owned enterprises. You want to talk about Buffalo rising? It’s rising on a foundation of smart, savvy and heartfelt local business people. However, the lure of big box stores can woo even the most Buffaloving person from time to time, so we can’t just sit back and hope the loyalty continues.

Calling all local businesses – We’re counting what really counts!

We want to be able to speak loud and proud about Buffalo’s local businesses with current, local statistics. Right now, there’s a study underway to measure the impact of local businesses on the local economy here in Erie County in comparison with national chains. With the participation of Buffalo’s locally-, independently-owned businesses we will be able to share the full story like other cities have done after completing this study.

“On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores” reported the American Independent Business Association (based on research across several US jurisdictions by Civic Economics – the firm who will be analyzing the Buffalo data).  This phenomenon known as the multiplier effect means that more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base which means really good things in terms of building up this city.

Let’s capture the impact of Buffalo’s local businesses on the local economy. That story matters. Buffalo First, the local organizer of this study, is a key player in a grassroots movement of committed people who love Buffalo and want to see it grow forward in a thoughtful way – reminding consumers, developers and policy-makers that prioritizing local business pays off.

Why send our local money elsewhere? It’s on us to build the evidence and conversations about being intentional with investing in our economy here. Everyone wants our city to be more livable and lovable, but we also want to make sure the wave of prosperity considers more than just one bottom line. People, profit and planet – the stool of effective and ethical development has three critical legs.

If you’ve seen the “buy local”, “eat local” or “drink local” signs around the city, that’s a little marker to help everyone make informed choices about where they want to spend their time and money. This study also feeds that consumer information campaign which Buffalo First is running. We want to curb the flow of money out of our community.

If you are an independent retailer (with an actual storefront) or restaurant (both full and limited service) located in Erie County, NY, giving 20 minutes of your time to be counted in this survey will be time well spent. www.buffalofirst.org/indie-impact-study


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