The Ottumwa Courier

August 7, 2012

Where will you spend your $10?

Kelly Poppe-Gale

OTTUMWA — How does buying local benefit the community? With the upcoming school shopping season lays the opportunity to patronize local businesses and put more money into circulation in the community. Ideally consumers would spend money in the community and work or sell goods abroad to bring even more money into the area. When making purchases we are most often concerned with price and convenience and rarely, if ever, thinking about the economic principles that govern our participation. Few people can recall the circular flow diagram from our high school economics class and the impact those expenditures may have on productivity and jobs. Here are some worthwhile statistics about buying local from

• For every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 stays in the community.

• For every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business $43 stays in the community

• When you shop locally owned businesses, your money is recirculated over and over and creates up to 75 percent more tax revenue to your community and state.

More local tax revenue means more money for schools, roads, and fire equipment. Local businesses reinvest 60 percent more in the community, too. Independent We Stand challenges everyone to spend an additional $10 a month at a local store, claiming this effort will produce an additional $9.3 billion to local economies.

There have been a lot of movements nationwide to acknowledge and promote these behaviors. The Small Business Saturday event this past year was designed to assure those local independently owned shops didn’t go overlooked during the holiday shopping season. “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” is becoming a familiar slogan for farmers’ markets everywhere to increase profits to farmers and increase freshness to consumers. Many believe that these type programs, as well as community awareness and commitment to them, are the answer to revitalizing main streets and providing opportunities for entrepreneurship. Are you up to the challenge? Where will you spend your $10?

Kelly Poppe-Gale is the RELI coordinator for entrepreneurship and business incubation at Indian Hills Community College. She can be reached via email at: