According to an article in The Grand Rapids Press, a new study by Local First and funded by the Steelcase Foundation finds that supporting local businesses keeps money in the Grand Rapids community. The study says that when a consumer spends $100 at a local business, $68 stays in the local economy while $32 leaves town. However, when one spends $100 at a non-locally owned business, $57 leaves the local community. The study argues that if consumers increased spending at local businesses by just 10%, it would generate 1,600 jobs and $53 million in wages.
The study surveyed 17 businesses in four categories–grocery stores, pharmacies, full-service restaurants, and banks. When compared to chains, 17% more money stays in the community when it is spent at locally owned grocery stores, 77% at pharmacies, and 52% at restaurants. The study had difficulty developing a similar method of comparison for banks.