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Survey that included Bainbridge shows more dollars stay local when spent with independent retailers

Bainbridge Island was one of the communities that participated in a national survey of local economics, and the results show for every dollar spent with locally owned, independent businesses on Bainbridge, three times as much revenue recirculates locally when compared with money spent with national chain retailers.

The results, announced recently by the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association and partners The Traveler and Eagle Harbor Book Co., were based on confidential survey data collected from 13 independent, locally owned businesses engaged in retail trade in downtown Winslow. Participants were asked about their business practices and the distribution of revenue expended in several categories including: profits paid out to local owners; wages paid to local workers; goods and services purchased for internal use as well as resale; and charitable giving within the community.

The study “gives us real numbers that underscore the value of supporting our local downtown Winslow businesses.”
— Andrea Mackin,
Bainbridge Island Downtown Association

The resulting statistics, when compared with the closest regional, big-box national chain retailers, concluded that collectively, the businesses return a total of 39.8 percent of all revenue to the local Bainbridge Island economy. By comparison, the numbers of the four major national chain retailers (Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, Office Max and Target in Silverdale) recirculate an average of 13.6 percent within their local market areas.

“These survey results are very powerful for us,” Bainbridge Island Downtown Association Executive Director Andrea Mackin said in a news release announcing the survey results. “The Independent Impact Study gives us real numbers that underscore the value of supporting our local downtown Winslow businesses.

“Being able to show that three times as much of every purchase made with a locally owned independent business will be returned back into our own island economy (versus a chain retailer) is a strong argument in favor of spending your dollars with locally owned island businesses.”

The Indie Impact Survey was produced in conjunction with the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Civic Economics, a nationally recognized economic analysis and economic development strategic planning consultancy with offices in Austin, Texas, and Chicago.

In all, 10 communities across the country participated in the ABA study including local businesses in Chicago (Andersonville and Six Corners); Las Vegas, N.M.; Louisville, Ky.; Pleasanton, Calif.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Salt Lake City (North Temple, Sugarhouse, and two other business districts). Complete survey results will be available on the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association website, along with national survey results provided by Civic Economics once all participating communities’ analyses are complete.

For more information, contact the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association at 206-842-2982, or visit www.bainbridgedowntown.org.

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association (BIDA) is committed to building and sustaining a vibrant downtown using the Main Street Approach. Since 1998, BIDA has been an accredited Main Street™ Program under the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Washington Main Street Program.

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