America Unchained Day — On November 19th, 2005

On the last Saturday before Thanksgiving, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) wants retailers and consumers across the country to join in the second annual celebration of America Unchained. On November 19, consumers in communities around the country will be asked to shop only at locally owned businesses to maximize the impact of their dollars and potentially inject millions more into their local economy.

Sometimes seemingly small acts can make a big impact. Take family spending. You may think you’re just fulfilling your family’s wants or needs when you shop or dine out. Think again. The choice of where you spend your money makes a big difference to your community. Spending your money with locally-owned independent businesses puts your money to work directly helping your community’s economyjust one way your community benefits from its home town businesses. Those businesses use goods and services of other locally-owned independent businesses–circulating your money three to three-and-a-half times longer locally than if you spend it at a chain*. This creates greater community health and prosperity.

A study of 10 independent businesses and 10 chains in retail, restaurant and service in Andersonville, Illinois demonstrates independent businesses generate about 70 percent greater local economic activity per square foot and slightly more sales per square foot as chains. See the Andersonville Study by the Civic EconomicsGroup.

But there are many other reasons for keeping your money in your community. See the Top Ten Reasons to Shop Locally (Thanks to Sue DeMalignon for this link.)

* Studies in Maine and Austin, Texas demonstrate that locally-owned businesses generate 3.5 times the local economic activity as chains.