Success of Buy Local Campaigns
Across North America ‘Buy Local’ campaigns have generated positive impacts in local communities. In 2014, a study conducted in the United States revealed that independent businesses located in communities with a long-term “buy local and independent campaign” reported revenue growth of 9.3%, which is almost double the 4.9% increase for independent businesses not served by such efforts.
Portland Maine’s Buy Local initiative launched in 2006 has lead to measurable results. In a 2007 survey, 79 percent of businesses reported that the campaign was benefiting their business and 68 percent said they gained new customers as a result of it. Additionally, almost 75 percent said customers had told them that they are making an effort to do more or all of their shopping at locally owned businesses.
Similar campaigns such as ‘Buy Local Philly’ and ‘Think Local First’, Bellingham WA have resulted in commendable outcomes. After a month long pilot program launched in 2005, surveys revealed that 1 in 6 people were aware of Buy Local Philly initiative. More than half of the participating business owners had stated that the project had made a positive impact on their business after that month, and 40 percent of those surveyed said that they were motivated to shop at local businesses as a result. After Bellingham’s three year long Think Local First program, a survey conducted showed that 58 percent of residents had changed their behavior, and were now more deliberate about choosing local first.
Evidence from surveys conducted on Portland’s Buy Local project, Philadelphia’s Buy Local Philly campaign, and Bellingham’s Think Local First initiative reveal significant changes in the purchasing behavior of local consumers to shop locally. We predict similar effects will occur as a result of Northumberland County’s Buy Local Campaign.