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Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses

the Institute for Local Self-Reliance provides us with their top ten reasons to support locally owned businesses.

Published February 14, 2013 in Urban Issues      1 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


1.  Local Character and Prosperity

In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.

2.  Community Well-Being

Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.

3. Local Decision-Making

Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

4.  Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy

Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

5.  Job and Wages

Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

6.  Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

7.  Public Benefits and Costs

Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.

8.  Environmental Sustainability

Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

9.  Competition

A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

10.  Product Diversity

A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

source: The following comes from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (, a national nonprofit organization working to strengthen independent businesses and local economies, and is reprinted here with permission.


Jax Farmers Market

February 14, 2013, 07:29:52 PM
MJ, thanks for posting this article and using a picture of the Jacksonville Farmers Market to illustrate it.  This is most appropriate since JFM hosts some 30 to 40 permanent and countless transient hard working (dawn to dusk, 7 days a week) local vendors and farmers employing over 100 people selling, in large part, local or regional produce and other agricultural products (employing so many more).

All of our vendors are family owned small businesses, many minority or women owned.  Most of these thriving businesses were born at JFM proving that even in economically challenged areas we can create new businesses, give entrepreneurs a platform for success, and grow our local economy. 

Best of all, all these local businesses compete extremely well against their national competition in offering greater selection, outstanding quality, and personal service, all at prices often up to 70+% below even Walmart or Costco.

Further, JFM is located in an area where no national retailers chose to operate any kind of business.  In the case of JFM, it is literally an oasis in the midst of a food desert.  Local responsiveness is why many JFM vendors have responded to requests to accept EBT, given that some 1 in 8 or more Duval County residents depend on EBT, even more in the under served area surrounding JFM.

As always, we appreciate the coverage on MJ!
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