May 6, 2011

Things are looking up for local business

Filed under: Local (Chicago),Small Business — lidia @ 1:43 pm

Recently, Local First Chicago shared an article from The Nation illustrating the “Localism Index.” (see image at right) The data shows that local businesses are growing and thriving.

Local business statistics:

Increase since 2002 in the number of Starbucks stores: 3,297
Increase since 2002 in the number of independent coffee shops: 4,923

Number of chain pharmacy locations that opened in 2009: 177
Number of independent pharmacy locations that opened in 2009: 474

Number of Independent Business Alliances and Local First groups in 2005: 30
Number of Independent Business Alliances and Local First groups in 2010: 143

View the article and download the full illustrated map here.

I shop local

I’ve always had a “shop local” focus with my small business. I partnered with a local company to develop my website, my line of greeting cards is printed by a local printer—not to mention the myriad of other local vendors that I work with. I’m also a member of Local First Chicago and a local Chamber, and host networking events geared toward local businesses. When I need a service or product, I always try to look within my local network first.

What about you?

Is your small business participating in local or neighborhood groups? Have you seen a difference in your business as a result?

Have you noticed more independent shops or small businesses opening up in your neighborhood—or is it the opposite?