That Costs WHAT?! 😨 Busting the Myth "Local is More Expensive."

Main course from Cafe Roka in Bisbee, Arizona. 

Main course from Cafe Roka in Bisbee, Arizona. 

When you spend your money at local businesses, those dollars recirculate nearly four times more in local economies than if spent with a chain retailer. The benefits of local spending is seen almost exclusively by the community in which the money is spent. However, due to the frequency of community members spending their money elsewhere, many rural communities miss out on this multiplying factor. 

Losing spending dollars hurts more than just local businesses, it also effects public school funding, job creation, property values and place-making which are all severely stunted (among others). In rural Arizona you’ll find various local businesses, unique festivals, talented entertainment, historical attractions and so much more. Despite everything these communities offer, they still face economic leakage.

Hollis Cinemas in Globe, Arizona.

Hollis Cinemas in Globe, Arizona.

Economic leakage refers to funds exiting their community of origin and being spent elsewhere; usually in metropolitan areas. Economic leakage is frequently seen in rural communities when individuals travel to other areas for activities such as shopping, recreation, dining and other various outings. To redirect these dollars back into their community of origin; the question must be asked: Why do folks spend their money outside of their community?

Myth:  Prices are lower at chain retailers and in other communities. 

Many believe that the "lower prices" that chain stores promote make up for the gas, travel time, and vehicle wear that comes from these frequent trips. However, when you add up the total costs (and compare to legitimate local comparisons), you'll find that the local options are usually more affordable. 

Myth-BUSTED: More often than not, spending money at local businesses in your own community is less expensive than spending money with chain retailers out of town.

With Valentine's Day coming up, we compared the total cost of a dinner-and-an-activity date night in two rural communities: Globe-Miami and Bisbee. Spoiler alert: the local date night was cheaper! Take your valentine's date out this month in confidence you'll be treating them to a unique local experience that won't hurt your wallet. Check out the price comparisons below: 


Local First Arizona Foundation strives to keep dollars circulating in local economies by busting the myth that local is more expensive. A series of monthly Myth Busters will highlight specific comparisons in 2 rural communities; Globe/Miami and Bisbee. These comparisons break down pricing to show how local options stand up to out of town chain retailers.