BUY LOCAL, Putting Your Money Where Your Town Is

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Our Town Gainesville and Alachua County is the focus of a excellent article by Carolyn Tillo published in Our Town Magazine Autumn 2011 Edition.

The article focuses on the importance of buying local and the organizations which support local business such as Our Town Gainesville and Alachua County, Buy Local North Central Florida, and Sustainable Alachua County. These local organization are working to help make our community a better place.

Read the complete article by clicking the link below and make sure to pick up a Free edition of Our Town Magazine at news stands near you for other great articles and announcements about our community.

Our Town Magazine Article – “Buy Local, Putting Your Money Where Your Town Is” By Carolyn Tillo

Buy Local North Central Florida

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Buy Local North Central Florida is a program to encourage buying at local independent businesses in the area thus supporting our local community while growing a stronger local economy.

Please support their great program and start “buying  local” in our community.

For details on the program and a list of local businesses, visit

Gary Anglin: Why ‘buy local’ is more than just a catchy slogan

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This article is taken from The Gainesville Sun.

To read this article on the The Gainesville Sun’s website please click on the link below:

The members of OUR TOWN want everyone in the Gainesville community to remember how important small and local businesses are to sustaining our communities.

OUR TOWN is a non-profit corporation founded to promote locally owned independent businesses. It belongs to the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA). Non-profits like OUR TOWN exist all across the country.

If you’ve heard Austin’s catchphrase, “Keep Austin Weird,” then you’ve heard from AMIBA. OUR TOWN gives small, local business owners a place to discuss issues of common interest and to have a voice in the local dialog.

People like small business. A study by the Pew Research Center released in April found that small business is the most positively viewed institution in the U.S.

Why is this? Old time Main Street family businesses, like Wise’s Drug Store and Martin’s Appliances, embody the traditional values and neighborly attitudes we trust most.

The independent business owner is usually more invested in our city than big business and his or her success can have lasting benefits.

Unlike the chain and big box stores, local business owners hire local accountants, lawyers, architects and builders. They bank locally. They are active members of our neighborhoods and our charitable organizations and are involved in local politics.

Family members may take over the store when the founders retire, often through several generations. The longevity of successful independent businesses can have a profound and enduring beneficial effect on our local economy and our neighborhoods.

In 2002 Civic Economies studied the local multiplier effect of money spent in Austin. They found that $100 spent in chain bookstores resulted in $13 of local economic impact, while $100 spent at locally owned bookstores brought $45 to the local economy.

Other studies done since then consistently show locally owned businesses provide a local economic impact two to four times greater than chain stores. Most big store receipts leave town to pay for supplies, headquarters offices, executive salaries and profits elsewhere.

Too often it is the big store that gets a break from local governments. Why should the city give big stores exceptions to planning and zoning rules local businesses must meet? Because they have architects and lawyers who keep coming back? Because they provide some low paying jobs for a few years?

Research done by MIT and the Small Business Administration dating back to 1979 has consistently shown that two-thirds of the net new jobs in the private sector are created by small businesses.

Independent businesses help give our community its one-of-a-kind personality. The buildings and storefronts of our small stores and restaurants reflect the character of our neighborhoods. The casual encounters you enjoy at these businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and local cohesiveness. Local business develops and maintains community character.

Independent, community serving businesses are people-sized. They use little land and are located close to residents, creating only modest traffic and pollution.

Local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and police and fire protection services than most chains and generate more tax revenue per sales dollar, helping keep your taxes lower. They also spend more of their revenue supporting local arts organizations than do big stores.

Quality and service are two big reasons to shop local. If you need something and your only consideration is price, perhaps a chain store is the answer. But maybe you want a quality product and need advice in deciding what to select.

Wouldn’t you prefer to deal with a knowledgeable salesperson who will be there next time you shop? You can find that kind of service when you visit your neighbor’s locally owned business.

Think local first and you and the whole community will benefit. Vote local with your purchase dollars. We have a one-of-a-kind community and today’s decisions, planning and otherwise, can affect our city for generations.

We hope you will visit the OUR TOWN website ( to learn more and add to the discussion. Even better, if you own a local business or are someone who supports them, please join us.

Gary Anglin is president of OUR TOWN and president of Anglin Construction.

Rising from Ruins now free online!

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Hi, Everyone!

HRH Media, who produced both Independent America: The Two-Lane Search for Mom & Pop and Independent America: Rising From Ruins — two great tools that have enhanced many of our collective public education efforts — have partnered with to bring Rising From Ruins to a much larger audience for freeRising will be the featured film on Snagfilms for the next week, beginning tomorrow.  We’re doing our part to help spread the word, and we hope you’ll help.
Visit to snag the page link or the code to embed in your website, newsletter, or blog, or pass the link along through your social media tools.

If you plan to provide a public presentation of Rising in your community, you’ll want the film on disc instead — please contact us, as we have some available for a nominal cost.




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Please check back soon for recent news and updates.


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Submitted by James Quinn on Thu, 9 Sep 2010

Having worked for a big box retailer for 14 years, I understand the dynamics of a high growth rollout of stores as a key to increasing market share and profits. Some of the best retail names in the US have practiced the identical strategy of concentrating many stores in each market to drive the small competitors out of business. This strategy worked wonders for Lowes, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s during the early part of this decade. The combination of solid same store sales and opening new stores is a fantastic combination during good times. The results actually make the CEOs of these companies think they are brilliant. Their store expansion models based on rosy assumptions are followed like they can’t go wrong.

What these CEOs didn’t realize was that their expansion plans were based on lies and frauds. If they had advisors who could give them a reality check, they could have avoided the massive downsizing that awaits them. Their hubris didn’t leave room for a reality check. The population of the US has grown from 281 million in 2000 to approximately 308 million today. We’ve had a 10% population increase in 10 years. Consumer expenditures have grown from $6.7 trillion in 2000 to $10.3 trillion today. This is a 54% increase over the course of the decade. Amazingly, real average weekly earnings have only gone up by 6% in the last decade.

The chart below tells the story that retail CEOs have been ignoring for a decade. Consumer credit has advanced from $1.5 trillion in 2000 to $2.4 trillion today. This 60% increase in consumer debt has allowed workers who have barely increased their earnings to spend like they made a lot more money. This debt fueled consumption binge led major retailers to expand in order to keep up with the delusional consumers.

Graph: Total Consumer Credit Outstanding

Retail America has run directly into a brick wall. Below are charts detailing the expansion history of four of the most admired retailers in America. Lowes grew their store count from 600 to 1,700 over the course of the decade, a 183% increase. Wal-Mart grew their store count from 4,000 to 8,500, a 113% increase. Target grew their store count from 1,000 to 1,750, a 75% increase. Kohl’s grew their store count from 300 to 1,050, a 250% increase. Same store sales are the true measure of a retailer’s health. When comp store sales are +5% or better, retailers make substantial profits and confidently build new stores. As the charts below clearly show, comp store sales have been in a substantial downtrend since 2006. The new stores that have been built in existing markets are over cannibalizing their existing stores.

Lowes has 500 more stores today than it had in 2005, $4 billion more sales, and $1 billion less profits. Target has 340 more stores today than it had in 2005, $12 billion more sales, and the same profit. Kohl’s has 240 more stores than it had in 2006, $1.6 billion more sales, and $100 million less profit. Only Wal-Mart has kept the profits flowing, mostly due to its international expansion. The tough times have only just begun for these retailers.

lowes annual store count growth

Lowe's - Annual Sales Growth


Walmart - Annual Sales Growth

Target - Annual Store Count Growth

Target - Annual Sales Growth

Kohl's - Annual Store Count Growth

Kohl's - Annual Sales Growth

The American consumer is still heavily indebted. Much of the retail spending in the last decade came from mortgage equity withdrawals. Using your home as an ATM is history. Home equity is at an all-time low and 25% of homeowners are underwater. Home prices are destined to fall another 20%. There are 15 million people unemployed. Consumer expenditures still account for 70% of GDP. In order for the US economy to achieve equilibrium, consumer spending will need to regress back to 65% of GDP. This will require an annual reduction in consumer spending of $800 billion. The CEOs of these retailers have not grasped the implications of this coming adjustment in our consumer society.

total debt balance and its composition

There are three major errors that have been committed by every retailer in America. They failed to recognize that the spending per household was 30% over inflated due to debt financed demand. They then extrapolated the spending per household using a 5% to 10% growth rate. Lastly, they ignored the fact that their competitors had the same strategy. There are 1.5 million retail establishments in the US. Thousands of these stores are going out of business every year.

Lowes, Wal-Mart, Target, and Kohl’s have yet to recognize their predicament. They are still blinded by their hubris. The point of recognition will occur within the next year. Each of these retailers will be closing hundreds of underperforming stores in the next two years. Time for a reality check.

Quinn Advisors Senior Director of Strategic Planning
Primary Tel (215) 573-5404
quinnadvisors @

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