In part one of this special blog series, we reported that two-thirds of independent businesses across the country experienced revenue growth in 2014. This great news was published in the 2015 Independent Business Survey conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
This week, we have more great news from the 2015 Independent Business Survey regarding how the “buy local” movement influences consumer behavior.
Local First Movement Drives Customer Traffic
Surveying more than 3,000 independent businesses from all 50 states, the 2015 Independent Business Survey found that independent businesses located in cities with active Local First campaigns are outperforming those in cities without such campaigns.
Outperforming. What exactly does that mean? By the numbers, reported in the 2015 Independent Business Survey it means that:
- Businesses in places with an active Local First initiative reported an average sales increase of 9.3% in 2014, which is nearly double that of their counterparts in communities without a Local First initiative.
- Retailers in these cities reported higher average sales gains at 5.7% compared to 4.2% reported by retailers in other cities.
Among survey respondents in cities with a Local First initiative, 69% of business owners reported that the initiative had a positive impact on their business.
More than half of the businesses who reported that the Local First initiative in their community had a positive impact,rated that impact as either moderately or significantly positive. The key factor amongst those who reported a moderate or significant impact of the Local First movement on their business? Heavy marketing of their active participation in their community’s “buy local” campaign.
Repeatedly reported positive impacts of Local First initiatives include:
- New customers (according to 51% of businesses)
- Improved loyalty of existing customers (according to 49% of businesses)
- Increased local media coverage of independent businesses (according to 54% of businesses)
- Increased awareness & support of city officials for the local business community (according to 45% of businesses)
- Increased overall traffic in local business districts (according to 22% of businesses)
- Led to more collaborative environments, mutual support and increased purchasing habits between local businesses (according to 46% of businesses)
Locally owned, independent business in communities with active Local First movements outperform their counterparts because a vibrant, impactful “buy local” campaigns, like the one that Local First Utah works to create in Utah, influence consumer behavior and drive customer traffic. That’s the bottom line for us. We work to educate the public about the benefits of buying locally, in the hopes that your business will reap a benefit from our work.
But, we can’t do this on our own. The “buy local” movement will only succeed in Utah through our collective endeavors.
Join us in this powerful movement. Engage with Local First Utah by actively branding your business as locally owned. Create an Enhanced Listing, making use of the tools and resources Local First Utah provides. Or, help lead the movement by joining the Local First Leaders Circle. Each step we take, together, helps us create livable, thriving places to call home.