BRONXVILLE, NY — November 17, 2020 — As the holiday season fast approaches, our merchants need resident support more than ever. Local patronage not only adds to much needed sales but sends an equally important message to our merchants that their presence in the Village is valued and appreciated.
Bronxville has one of the highest concentrations of locally owned independent businesses in the county, some with us 20, even 50 years. They are the true backbone of our community. Not only do they offer unique and well curated gifts, they give the personal attention so lacking in the mail order business- the opportunity to touch, fit and feel that is so much a part of a good purchase. The personal touch extends beyond to special orders, beautifully wrapped packages and delivery to your front door. If the gift turns out not to be perfect, it need not be bubble wrapped and dropped at a FedEx outlet, rather gracefully handed to a shopkeeper for immediate exchange.
Our merchants all buy parking permits, pay taxes, buy goods and food from their fellow merchants and use the services of local professionals including lawyers, accountants, computer consultants and graphic designers. As Michael Bloomberg said, “Small businesses are the real job creators. If you add a government job, you add one employment opportunity. If a small business opens, the ripple effect begins.”
On average nationally, 47% of each sale at a locally owned independent business was recirculated locally compared to less than 14% of a purchase at a chain store. Local and small businesses also account for more than 70% of the jobs in the United States.
Continuing on the economic front, the sales tax revenue generated by local businesses is key to the success/stabilization of every municipal budget nationwide. Fully one-third of all state revenues, totaling over $150 billion annually, comes from the collection of sales tax.
On the Village level, shopping locally is a major driver of the financial health of the Village. On average, as a municipality, we have received sales tax revenues of approximately $900,000 per year over the last decade. With a Village spending increase or revenue loss of just $80,000, the result is a full one point tax increase. I can’t even imagine our budget without this revenue source.
Bottom line, if you shop online versus on Pondfield Road or Palmer Avenue, the savings you reap will eventually come home to roost in the form of higher local property taxes and/or a decrease in municipal services. In contrast, a purchase made in the Village sends money directly back to our school and Village government and sends a message that you are investing in the future of our small Village and all that it adds to your quality of life.
In addition, it has been conclusively proven that home values are directly affected by the condition and vitality of one’s local business district. The nexus between the value of often our greatest personal asset and local commerce is indisputable.
Beyond the direct financial benefits, studies have also proven that:
- Independent stores consistently beat their large competitors in overall customer satisfaction.
- They foster a human connection, even friendships between merchant and customers, which fulfill a basic human need.
- The environment is positively affected – people walk more, less gas is consumed and the air quality is bettered.
- Even our personal health is enhanced – those who can buy goods on foot near their homes have less incidences of obesity and diabetes.
- Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events and teams, compared to big companies.
- Local small size businesses are also regulated; i.e. signage, awnings, sidewalk conditions, by local residents who then have a say as to their surrounding environment and aesthetics.
- Research proves that citizens are attracted –often the more skilled workers and entrepreneurs – and more likely to settle in communities that preserve their unique and varied commercial character.
- Children are offered an appropriate degree of independence when allowed to walk for school supplies or an after school treat.
Our sidewalks are an important confluence of needed intergenerational connections as strollers share space with our seniors and multigenerational discourse is fostered. Studies have proven that this type of human connection actually adds to longevity.
As champions of “Buy Local”, we realize it is not possible to purchase everything you need locally; we just ask you to think locally first. It ends up being your best bargain.