The impact of a small (micro) business.

There has been a lot of discussion in our local paper about supporting local businesses. The Lowell community is really great at this - they want to see local shops and service providers succeed.
Last year we helped our daughter Ella (re)open a coffee shop here in Lowell. (you can learn about it here: http://www.ellasoflowell.com/). Julie and I were convinced that our favorite town needed a place for good coffee and fresh soups and sandwiches.
One of our goals at Ella's was to keep as much of the money in the local/regional/state economy as we could. We buy our meat from Gary's - a butcher shop a block away and we buy milk and other things at the local Meijers. Ella has soap and various products from Lowell area artists. ALL of our coffee is roasted in Michigan - Grand Rapids Roasters in Grand Rapids and Evelyn Bay in Brooklyn, MI. We sell Lighthouse dressings made in Lowell and kettle corn from Grand Rapids. We sell teas from Traverse City.
As I was working on some paperwork for Ella this morning I started adding up some totals that make the advantages of supporting a local business crystal clear.
Various studies have shown how when you spend a dollar at a local business, the money gets re-generated in the city or town. Here are some interesting figures.
Total sales to date (from mid-July 2010 to March 8, 2011) $72,000.00

Total spent by Ella's at local businesses including utilities: $17,272.00
Total spent by Ella's with local service providers: $1,722.00
Total local rent money for shop and Ella's apartment: $11,900.00
Total monies to local artisans and employees: $6,785.00
Total to Lowell charities or non-profits: $280.00

Total to Regional businesses: $11,037.00
Total to Michigan based companies $5,043.00

Total money that went back directly to businesses, service providers, and residents of Lowell: $37,959.00 (that is over HALF of the total sales!)

Talk about IMPACT on the local economy - almost 53% of the total amount Ella's customers spent in her shop in her first eight months of business was put directly in the hands of Lowell residents and businesses. What gets more exciting about this equation is that you know a good percentage of the $37,959.00 dollars spent in Lowell was RE-spent in Lowell and it goes on and on.

Another 15% ($11,037.00) stayed in the Greater Grand Rapids/West Michigan area.

Another 7% ($5,043.00) stayed in the boundries of our state.

That is a total of $54,039.00 that stayed in Michigan - 75% of the total gross sales which doesn't include the hundreds in sales tax that went to the State of Michigan.

Pretty big impact for a tiny little micro-business with 3 part time employees, isn't it?
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