Buying local sporting good equipment versus major chain

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I am very passionate about an array of things pertaining to running and the fitness community in general, including supporting local sporting good stores. Local running shoe stores and bike shops are special not only because they usually offer an overall better deal when factoring in returns, warranties, and rewards but extras such as sincere care when helping you select a shoe or fixing a bike are priceless. My home, Decatur, IL, has only one running specialty store, Fleet Feet, and one superb cycling shop, Spin City Cycles. Both are owned, operated, and sit side by side on the West End of town just down the street from Millikin University’s campus. This store, Spin City Cycles, is a real gem because above giving high quality service to customers, it offers a lot of community involvement including weekly group runs, group rides, promotions of products with sales representatives from major shoe companies, and just recently the addition of yoga. The owner, Kyle May, was gracious enough to give me some time before the doors opened on a typical Wednesday morning. Prior to interviewing him, I did some quick googling on buying from a local vendor versus a major chain.

Money spent at local businesses is circulated back into the local area, increasing wealth of the local economy.

“On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores,” states the American Independent Business Alliance in their release, “The Multiplier Effect of Local Independent Businesses.”…I am just going to continue citing this page (http://www.amiba.net/resources/multiplier-effect/) because to be honest I don’t trust myself to correctly write my interpretation of this material, yes, you can judge my lack of effort if you’d like.

“The multiplier is comprised of three elements — the direct, indirect, and induced impacts.

  • Direct impact is spending done by a business in the local economy to operate the business, including inventory, utilities, equipment and pay to employees.
  • Indirect impact happens as dollars the local business spent at other area businesses re-circulate.
  • Induced impact refers to the additional consumer spending that happens as employees, business owners and others spend their income in the local economy.”

So, please, next time you need a new pair of shoes or need a new tube for your bike–buy local! Nearly all local sporting good stores are owned by enthusiastic people, like Kyle, and sincerely want you to enjoy whatever you buy and do their best to get you the lowest price possible.

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