It hurts whenever I hear an indie bookstore is retiring. The cause is rooted more in how we acquire books rather than how much we read. I believe there are enough readers to sustain local businesses. I understand sometimes it’s way more convenient to order the next read online because a bookstore is an hour’s worth of driving away. Shopping local, however, has a direct impact on your community. This is why:
1. For every $100 you spend in locally owned, independent stores, $68 returns to your community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.
2. If you spend that in a national chain store, only $43 stays here.
3. If you spend it online, nothing comes home.
If you’re still wondering what the big deal is? Think about it this way: Which independent businesses would you miss if they closed tomorrow? Buying local means less infrastructure and more money to beautify your community. Buying local instead of online ensures that sales taxes are reinvested where they belong: in your community. In my own experience, local/independent bookstores’ walls are lined with a hand-picked selection of books of all genres, from bestsellers to the most obscure and unusual titles. Their selection makes for the kind of store you can rely on to carry that book that was just mentioned on NPR or in The New York Times, but also the very best books you’ve never heard of. This is made possible by a staff that is made up of knowledgeable and passionate readers. Since most indies pick the items they sell based on what they know customers like and want, the indies are not beholden to corporate interests, market research, or suppliers’ advertising dollars. In a larger scale, creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local business ensures a strong community.
Support local businesses, Shop Indie.