Buy Local Programs Drive Higher Sales

Feb. 9, 2013 by Stacy Mitchell

Locally-owned Businesses Report Increased Sales

Buy Local Programs Drive Higher Sales

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (Feb. 6, 2013) – An annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives and growing public interest in supporting locally owned businesses.

But the survey also documented significant challenges facing independent businesses, most notably an increase in “showrooming” and competition from online retailers, tax and subsidy policies that favor their big competitors, difficulty obtaining loans, and a customer base still reeling from the recession.



The 2013 Independent Business Survey, which was conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in partnership with several business associations, gathered data from 2,377 independent businesses across 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Among its findings:

Download the 2013 Independent Business Survey.  View the findings of previous surveys conducted over the last five years here.


About the Survey

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance's 6th annual Independent Business Survey gathered data from 2,377 independent, locally owned businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The respondents encompass a range of business types.  About half are retailers. The remainder include a mix of service providers, manufacturers, farmers, banks, restaurants, wholesalers, and others.  These businesses employ a total of 37,032 people.  Most are small; two-thirds have ?ve or fewer employees, while only ?ve percent have 50 or more employees.  They range in age from recent start-ups to businesses founded more than a century ago.  The median age was 15 years. 

 The survey was conducted online in January, in partnership with dozens of business organizations, including the American Booksellers Association, American Independent Business Alliance, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association,Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Fabric Shop Network, Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, Independent Running Retailers Association, Independent We Stand, National Bicycle Dealers Association, Professional Association of Innkeepers International, and TriMega Purchasing Association, and many other trade associations and local business groups.