Why Local Business

Think Local First and make your purchases count! Let’s give our economy a much-needed boost! Learn what Is “Local and Independent” and why it matters!

At Seacoast Local we believe there are two things every resident can do to strengthen our community. One is to volunteer with a non-profit organization they believe in. The other is to spend their money, as great a percentage as possible, at locally owned, independent businesses. But don’t just trust us—read how economic research backs this up.

What’s Independent? I am! You are! We are free to make our own choices, and we want to support businesses that have complete control over their own business. An independent business is one that is free to choose local contractors, local accountants, locally made goods, and to sport a logo and brand that is unique to them and not one that is repeated endlessly across the country or across the globe.

What’s Local? For our purposes, we define a business as locally owned if at least 50 percent of its owners live within 25 miles of Portsmouth Harbor. This encompasses 25 towns that share a natural watershed, agricultural region, and commuter-shed, from Barrington to York, from Seabrook to South Berwick. It’s a large enough area to build a movement and make an impact, and yet a close enough community that it depends on a network of relationships. In fact, it’s these relationships that make it work.

Why is ownership important? Isn’t it enough just to support businesses located in town? Yes and no. Given a choice between ordering from a far away Internet company and patronizing a business located in town, we’d recommend the latter. Given a choice between going to a big box store and patronizing a locally owned business, choosing the locally owned business generates more economic activity here.

It’s your choice: This movement is about opportunity. Every dollar spent at a local independent generates up to 2-3 times as much economic activity locally than if that dollar were spent at a national chain. A 10% Shift per household spending this year would create hundreds of new jobs and millions in new economic activity on the Seacoast. Across New England, we could generate more than $5 billion in increased economic activity, decrease thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and revitalize local communities.

We’re partnering at a national and regional level to collaborate in this great effort. On a national level, we're active members of the American Independent Business Alliance and Business Alliance for Local, Living Economies. We also co-founded the New England Local Economy Network to respond to the unique opportunities and circumstances of our region.

Five Great Reasons to Buy Local

  1. Sustain and create good, stable jobs: Two to three times as much economic activity is generated locally when you spend at locally owned, independent businesses than when you turn to a national chain. When you visit them, you see that they have human-scale workplaces that value, involve and educate their employees. A network of these stable workplaces creates a community that is humming with activity and creating opportunities for advancement and entrepreneurship.
  2. Ensure a diversity of quality goods and services: An economy is like an ecosystem—the more activity you see, the healthier it is. Having a range of local independents ensures a diversity of quality goods and services are available to us at competitive prices, selected by people who care. Independent business owners genuinely love what they do, and they have the ability to go above and beyond to make sure you are a satisfied customer, saving you time, money and stress.
  3. Give back to community: Every week, our local businesses donate thousands of dollars of time, talent and products to local nonprofits, helping them to provide the services we count on.
  4. Go easier on the environment: Local independents create walkable downtowns, calm streetscapes and offer shorter shopping trips. They also know where to source locally, helping to reduce carbon emissions.
  5. Put down roots and help our towns thrive: Independent business owners live here, too, so their success is tied to the community success. Their businesses reflect the values and interests of the community and often serve as gathering places where you can meet your neighbors, friends, and the owners of the business. They help build a vibrant authentic place that is not like anywhere else, support our thriving civic life, and are invested in our healthy environment.

Visit our Key Studies page and learn more about the facts behind the local economy movement. Read AMIBA’s annotated  Top 10 Reasons to Buy Local, Eat Local, Go Local.