It makes sense intuitively that when we buy from a locally owned store, that more money would stay in the local economy. Well, it turns out there is hard empirical evidence to support that intuition. A study commissioned by Michigan's Local First showed quite a contrast:
A 2008 study of Kent County by Civic Economics — commissioned by Local First — determined that just a 10% shift in consumer spending toward locally owned businesses would result in an estimated $140 million in new economic activity, 1,600 new jobs, and $50 million in new wages.
According to Civic Economics, when West Michigan consumers choose a locally owned business over a non-local alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stays in the community. By contrast, only $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remains in the community.
Click on the above chart to enlarge and see more detail.