Article: Analyzing the economic impact of shopping at small businesses vs. big retail shops during the Black Friday weekend

Dec 2, 2019 | Business, Impact

Note: This segment aired on on Nov. 29, 2019. 

It’s the season of shopping. Online websites, big retail shops, and small businesses fill the entire holiday weekend to make sure everyone gets their shopping done.

The shopping weekend is one many people look forward to, but how does the economic impact affect our local community?

“Suppose you have $100 and you spend it in either three different ways. On some goods that you’re buying either online, a big box retail store, or a small kind of mom and pop shop,” said Patrick Scott, Assistant Professor of Economics at Louisiana Tech.

Scott says of that $100 of the online purchase only about $10 recirculates back through the local economy.

He then says if you spend $100 at a big box retail store, a little more is going to recirculate into the local economy due to the employees physically in the store.

“On average somewhere around 35% so about $35 for every $100 would get recirculated back into the local economy,” said Scott.

Although shopping online and big retail stores seems like the easiest thing to do, Professor Scott says if you’re trying to do what’s best for the local community; Buying local has the largest marginal impact.

“You spend $100 at a mom and pop shop, much more of that gets re-circulated back into the economy because the owners share of that sale will also get re-circulated and re-spent in all of that and will encourage more growth,” said Scott.

According to Scott, shopping small means the small businesses can grow. “So $65 to $70 of that $100 gets re-circulated back into the economy,” said Scott.

As the shopping weekend continues, there’s only one thing Scott wants shoppers to know ahead of Small Business Saturday.

“So this is why buying from local manufacturers and local artisans and crafters. Those have much more of an impact on our local community,” said Scott.

The West Monroe Chamber of Commerce is having a Santa sweepstakes for Small Business Saturday, tomorrow, November 30th.