Why Think Local First?

Spending Locally

For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 continues to circulate within  the community vs. $13 from a non-local business.  That’s the conservative estimate.  Other studies say it’s as much as $85 that stays local.


What’s Spent Here, Stays Here
Locally owned businesses spend their profits locally, purchase more goods from local suppliers, and employ their own office and support staff.

Get More for Your Money
When more money gets re-circulated in the community, general prosperity as well as tax revenues increase, creating a more vibrant and sustainable economy.

Farmers Market

Local Businesses Offer Unique Character
A wide variety of locally owned businesses contributes to a stronger local identity and cultural diversity, creating an attractive place to live and visit.

Strengthening our locally owned business community promotes authentic and meaningful relationships between employees, business owners, customers, suppliers, and neighbors. Business owners, who live in town, take better care of the environment, participate in public life, and donate generously to local charities.

Read more about the many ways thinking local first positively affects local economies -  Key Studies: Why Local Matter, by Stacy Mitchell at The Institute for Local Self-Reliance.  


annual check campaign
During our first annual Local Check Campaign, 5 local banks each gave out a $100 check to 5 different Think Local First members.  Each time a check was spent at a local business, the recipient turned around and spent it at another local business.  We tracked these checks as they were spent in the community and tallied up the commerce that was generated:  right around $8000 in commerce was generated in 1 month from those 5 $100 checks.

The next year, we did it again.  Only this time 2 of the 5 checks disappeared and only around $5000 in commerce was generated.  This illustrates what happens when you spend your money at a chain:  the money leaves town, to be deposited at the corporate headquarters of that business.  Poof… gone.

But you don’t have to take our word for it, here's a case study.