The answer may surprise you! Studies and experience tells us that the best way to make your money make a lasting impact, the way to get the biggest bang for your buck, is to buy local.
In Albert County, one of our greatest sources of income is in tourism, so let’s use it as an example. Tourism infuses our local economy with money during a relatively short period; from tourists renting rooms to government funding for attractions, our county becomes a hub of activity by the start of July. It is then up to us as a greater community to keep driving our local economy forward so we can see the full effect of these dollars. Economic stimulus, or in other words, the financial growth, of our county is dependent on how much of that money remains in it after the tourist season ends. Buying local helps ensure that the money we bring into our economy stays there.
Buying local creates more local wealth, which creates more local jobs, which increases demand, which advances wages, and the cycle continues. This is because independent, locally owned businesses recirculate more money back into the community. A study showed that major chain retailers only put 13% of their revenue back into their community, while locally owned business redistribute 48% of their revenue directly back into their community — so think, almost fifty cents of every dollar we spend at a local store comes back into our community in some way, compared to thirteen cents from the big box chains. This difference is enough to pay salaries, open more business, spend more money, and provide financial opportunities for your neighbors, family members, even yourself!
Another researcher figured out that twice the money stayed in the community when people buy local — that means your purchase is twice as effective in keeping our local communities alive and prosperous! Now that is major bang for your buck!
Putting all of this new information together, simple math tells us something interesting:
- The population of rural Albert County is around 4500 people. That means if we spend an average of $1500 per person on the Christmas holidays, around 6.7 million dollars is spent by rural Albert County alone!
- If only half of us spent half of our purchases on local goods (such as food, gifts, and even gas), we would add 1.6 million dollars to our local economy.
- If all of us spent half of our purchases on local goods, we would add around 3.5 million dollars to our local economy.
So, what would you do with 3 million dollars? Talk about a major impact!
This holiday season, and in the seasons to come, make a conscious effort to support local companies, businesses, and makers. If you need something, and you aren’t sure where to find it, feel free to reach out to us at the Albert County Chamber of Commerce, and we can help direct you. Get the best bang for your buck possible – a prosperous and long-term benefit to your county, community, and home!
Melody Land is the Executive Coordinator of the Albert County Chamber of Commerce.
The mission of the Albert County Chamber of Commerce is to promote economic and commercial prosperity in Albert County.