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Shopping Local

Shopping Local
Shopping Local

Key Studies: Why Local Matters

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | 2 Comments | Updated on Dec 22, 2011 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Last update: Jan. 8, 2016

In recent decades, policy across the country has privileged the biggest corporations. Yet a growing body of research is proving something that many people already know: small-scale, locally owned businesses create communities that are more prosperous, entrepreneurial, connected, and generally better off across a wide range of metrics. Here’s a roundup of the important findings that are putting numbers to the harms of bigness and the benefits of local ownership, and that policymakers can use to craft better laws, business owners can use to rally support, and people can use to organize their communities.

For ease of use, we’ve organized these studies into the following categories, although they do not all fit neatly into one category. For additional studies specifically on big-box retail, see our Big-Box Toolkit. See also the book Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses for a look at the far-reaching impacts of large retail chains and the advantages that accrue to communities that opt for locally owned, independent businesses instead.

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