For four consecutive years, Stacy Mitchell of the
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
(ILSR) has undertaken a unique research project, surveying thousands of independent businesses about their sales figures
from year to year
. The results of ILSR’s latest survey offered encouraging news for entrepreneurs battered by the recession and for organizations working to sustain vital communities.
Independent businesses in U.S. communities with an
active Buy Independent / Buy Local (BIBL) campaign
reported the strongest figures since the surveys began—a 5.6 percent increase over the previous year. This increase was more than two and a half times the gain (2.1 percent) reported by independent businesses located in areas lacking such a campaign.
Among independent retailers, which comprised just under half of nearly 2,800 surveys tabulated, the contrast was even more dramatic during the holiday season. Those in communities with BIBL campaigns experienced a 5.2 percent increase in holiday sales, while retailers elsewhere reported an average gain of just 0.8 percent.
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