Go Local!

Yes, I know we’re probably biased, but hidden away in Howard County are some of the best businesses and organizations in the country!
When you shop local, you enrich the county and help to make Howard County one of the premier locations in the country.

howard county businesses- Roots - British American - Iron Bridge - Exxon

There have been several studies conducted that demonstrate that supporting locally owned businesses has a significantly bigger economic impact on the community versus a national chain. That’s because more dollars are pumped back into the local economy by independent businesses. The chart below is from a study conducted in Salt Lake City Utah that shows that independent retailers are four times more likely to pump money back into the local economy than a national chain with 52 cents from every dollar spent going back into the local economy versus only 14 cents for retail chains. For restaurants the number is even bigger with 77 cents of every dollar recirculating in the local economy.

Shopping Local Boosts the Local Economy

But unfortunately, over the past several years, independent businesses have been getting a shrinking share of the bounty.  As the chart below, from a study conducted by American Express Open shows, independents market share has shrunk from 59% in 1990 to 48% in 2009.  That’s a huge drop-off, and it reflects the fact that we are spending more of our dollars in national chains like Wal-mart, Target, and McDonalds.

Independent business market share vs chains has been declining.

The American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index

You can help make a difference! Next time you have a choice, choose a local business.

Five Fabulous Reasons to Shop Local

  • #1. Put Your Money to Work Right Here in Howard County. Study after study shows that when you spend your money with a locally owned business, more of the dollars recirculate right in your community.
  • #2. Support Local Jobs.  Local businesses create local employment and self-employment!  Small businesses are our nation’s biggest employer. So next time you shop with a local independently owned business, remember you’re helping to support & sustain jobs.
  • #3. Help the Environment.  Local businesses are much more likely to support other local businesses and make their purchases locally.  This equals less transportation and therefore a smaller carbon footprint.
  • #4. Promote Disticntiveness.  Independent businesses promote diversity of choice.  Have you ever traveled to a new place and were disappointed because all you could find were the same old shops that you had at home.  By supporting local diverse businesses, you keep your options varied and open.
  • #5. Invest in Your Community.  Local businesses are not only more likely to purchase locally, they are also more likely to give more to local non-profits.  In fact, non-profits on average recieve over 3-times more support from local businesses than they do from their non-local counterparts.