I remembered reading this in the Chicago Free Press and was glad to find it online:
Local businesses in Andersonville [north neighborhood of Chicago], the study said, tend to spend more of their revenues on labor and purchase services and goods from other local businesses at much higher rates than the chains. The study concluded that the locally owned Andersonville businesses generate a local economic impact of $179 per square foot, compared to $105 per square foot generated by the chain stores. “That means 70-percent more money circulating in the local economy, which may mean 70-percent more home improvement, 70 percent more in the collection plate and 70 percent more in taxable transactions to fund city services,” the study said.
That’s always my beef. I wish the Caribou Coffee was locally owned and operated as much money as they get from the surrounding community. I look at places like Starbucks and Best Buy and just see big FedEx envelopes being stuffed with money and sent to the home office, away from having any local economic impact (employee salaries don’t count). That’s why I’ll often shop for books at Borders but buy at Unabridged. I wish I trusted any of the local electronics stores but they always look like fly-by-night, hot-merchandise enterprises.
Every single purchase you make every day is a vote for a certain way of life, a certain mode of agriculture, a certain model of business, a certain method of clothing manufacturing, a certain ethic, a certain ethnic.