Research and Studies

Buying Local: Tools for Forward Thinking Institutions

2013 companion report to The Power of Purchasing, it outlines the many ways that organizations can benefit themselves, as well as the economies that sustain them, by making minor adjustments to the way that they purchase goods and services. Buying Local: Tools for Forward-Thinking Institutions outlines strategies and paths that policy-makers, sustainability managers, procurement professionals and others involved in institutional purchasing decisions can pursue to realize this potential. Check out our blog post for some of the highlights or to download the report.


The Power of Purchasing: The Economic Impacts of Local Procurement

2013 study by LOCO BC, the Columbia Institute, and ISIS at the Sauder School of Business evaluates the impact of purchasing from local suppliers. Using B.C. office supply Mills Basics to make the case, the study shows that local purchasing re-circulates 33% of revenues directly to residents and businesses in B.C. compared to 17% and 19% for multinationals. This presents a 77%-100% economic advantage for B.C. from buying local, and an 80%-100% increase in jobs per million dollars spent. Check out our blog post for some of the highlights or to download the report.


Independent BC: Small Business & The British Columbia Economy

2013 Civic Economics study on Canadian market share of independent and chain business and calculates the economic impacts of locally owned business compared to their major North American chain competitors. Check out our blog post for some of the highlights or to download the report.



Civic Economics has conducted many studies comparing the circulation of dollars (the “multiplier effect”) when money is spent at local versus chain stores.

Other Resources

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is a network of more than 80 local business networks across the US and Canada, representing more than 20,000 entrepreneurs. Find many resource on their website.

The Institute for Self-Reliance works to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. Their New Rules Project has done many studies on how big box stores harms small business. Website:

Michael Shuman is author of Going Local, The Small-Mart Revolution, & Local Dollars, Local Sense. He works and writes on everything from community-based asset mapping to local stock exchanges. Website:

The New Economics Foundation is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being, aiming to improve quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environment and social issues. View some of their publications here.