Buy Local and Grow Maine’s Economy

A new MECEP study (see full report) confirms that, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the local economic impact of consumer spending at locally owned businesses in Portland is significantly greater than that of national chains.  Every $100 consumers spend at locally owned businesses generates an additional $58 in the local economy.  By comparison, $100 spent at a representative national chain store in Portland generates an additional $33 in local economic impact.

MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin unveils the new report at a 12/6/2011 at Longfellow Books in Portland.

Shifting just 10% of consumer spending from national chains to local businesses in Cumberland County would generate an additional $127 million for the local economy, creating 874 new jobs paying $35 million in wages (see new MECEP Fact Sheet).  This is particularly compelling when we consider that since January of 2011, Maine has lost over 2,200 jobs.

Commissioned by the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance with grants from the Maine Community Foundation, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, and the New England Independent Booksellers Association, MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin and intern Amar Patel conducted the research and analysis underlying the final product.  To view a WGME-TV news story on the report, click here.

As Maine continues to climb out of the depths of the Great Recession, encouraging consumers to spend their hard-earned dollars at local businesses rather than the national chains will go  a long way toward creating jobs and expanding our economy.