Deep down, we all know that "buying American" makes a far greater impact on the economy than the purchase of foreign-made goods.
Equally important is where the goods are bought.
The evidence is clear that shopping at locally-based, independent outlets makes a much bigger contribution to economic development than buying at national or global retail chains.
Even in this tough climate, Americans will spend over $400 billion during this holiday shopping season - more than the total GDP of countries like Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, or Austria.
According to research from Independent We Stand, a new organization designed to promote sustainable economic growth, when you spend $100 at an independent business, $68 returns to the local community. Spend that same amount at a national chain and it drops to $43.
Other benefits derived from shopping local include:
Small business accounts for 75% of all new jobs.
Locally owned businesses reinvest in the local economy at a 60% higher rate than chains and internet retailers.
Small businesses create more than half the non-farm private gross domestic product.
Locally owned and operated businesses create higher-paying jobs for you and your neighbors.
More of your tax dollars are reinvested in your community to fund local schools, hire more police officers and improve roads.
Jeff Milchen, co-founder of the American Independent Business Alliance, is spot-on about the value local, independent retailers mean for U.S. manufacturers, as opposed to mega-retailers:
"they can compete successfully when innovation, quality and customization are key factors, but the mega-retailers' business model intrinsically elevates the importance of price over other qualities. Innovative or higher-quality products will struggle to gain market share unless they are sold where a sufficient number of knowledgeable employees can educate customers about their value."
Let's have an independent Christmas!