Local Works!

Examining the Impact of Local Business on the West Michigan Economy

A ten percent shift to local spending creates a massive economic impact!

A cornerstone of the Local First movement is a study by Civic Economics for the Local First organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Entitled "Local Works! Examining the impact of local business on the West Michigan Economy," the study finds a stunning impact to the local economy if just 10 percent of the market share is moved from national chains to locally owned businesses.

Locals [produce] an average of 70% more local economic activity than chains on comparable revenue.
— Local Works study

In a population of about 770,000, this 10% shift in spending creates:

  • $137 million in new economic activity.
  • Over 1,600 new jobs.
  • Over $50 million in new wages.

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All these benefits may be captured for the people of Kent County with a small change in habits. Just one time out of ten, before heading to a chain store or restaurant, take that business to a local. We believe quality, service, and value for the dollar will be their own reward, but that small act will strengthen the local economy and build a better, more sustainable Greater Grand Rapids.
— Local Works study