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News & Press: LocalShops1 Press Releases

Survey Shows Importance of Buy Local Campaigns

Friday, February 27, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: LocalShops1
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Feb. 28, 2015

Media inquiries:
Ester Venouziou, LocalShops1 founder
727.637.5586 &


A survey of more than 3,000 independent business owners across the U.S. and Canada shows that independent businesses in communities with an active "buy local" campaign run by grassroots groups, such as LocalShops1, saw revenues grow 9.3 percent in 2014, almost double the 4.9 percent increase for businesses in areas without such an alliance.


“ ‘Local First’ has changed our cultural narrative, as this report shows,” said Michelle Long, executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. “But Local First is more than just a catchy slogan. It has reminded us that our purchases impact other human beings. That there is the possibility of a relationship and real care in our exchanges. If policymakers are serious about fostering an economy that works for more people, they can’t forget that ‘middle class economics’ starts on Main Street with local independent business.”


The survey was organized by the Institute for Local Self Reliance. Among the other results:

Sales: Retailers surveyed reported a 5.1 percent increase in same-store sales last year, beating many competing chains, while independent businesses overall reported revenue growth of 8.1 percent on average.

Salaries: Wages paid by respondents equaled or exceeded their chain competitors. 41 percent of independents' employees make between $10 and $15 hourly, while 34 percent make $15 or more hourly.


Challenges: Competition from large Internet companies was again rated as the biggest challenge facing independent businesses, particularly among retailers. Other concerns mentioned include supplier terms that favor big competitors, high cost for health insurance and expenses for effective marketing.


"Local businesses are the ones that add character to our streets and keep the money flowing in our communities. It's great seeing more and more support for amazing entrepreneurs in Tampa Bay and around the nation," said Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1, Tampa Bay's leading advocate for small businesses. The grassroots organization, founded in 2008 before "Buy Local" was trendy, publishes Live Local! magazine and puts together collaborative marketing and events to help spotlight small businesses. 

The complete report may be downloaded for free at the Institute for Local Self Reliance's website.



About LocalShops1

LocalShops1 is a coalition of hundreds of independently owned  businesses and tens of thousands of energetic shoppers with the mission of advocating, promoting and offering support services to companies throughout Tampa Bay. Founded in August 2008, LocalShops1 is the region's most active voice for small businesses.