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Top Ten Reasons to Support Local Businesses

1. Protect Local Character and Prosperity: Portland is unlike any other city in the world. By choosing to support locally owned businesses, you help maintain Portland’s diversity and distinctive flavor.

2. Community Well-Being: Locally owned businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbors, and by contributing more to local causes.

3. Local Decision Making: Local ownership means that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy:  Your dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.

5. Job and Wages: Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

6. Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

7. Public Benefits and Costs: Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.

8. Environmental Sustainability: Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

9. Competition: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

10. Product Diversity: A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

Adapted and reprinted from The Institute for Local Self-Reliance