You've always gotten a special feeling, a little retail buzz, when you shop at independent, locally owned businesses like, say, Destinations Booksellers. Right?
Well, it wasn't just the hand-picked stock, knowledgeable staff, and welcoming atmosphere. There are cold, hard numbers to back up the buzz.
Locally owned bookstores support the economic health and well-being of a region. The San Francisco Retail Diversity Study revealed that independent bookstores contributed $54 million a year back to the San Francisco area, but chain stores and Internet booksellers contributed $8 million a year back. That's almost seven times as much!
Internet sales do not generate sales tax or jobs for the community. And chain stores don't spend money on services in the community. They retain everything from signs to C.P.A.'s on a national level.
The study also pointed out the difference created by just a 10% shift in customer spending from chain and Internet book retailers to locally owned bookstores. In the San Francisco area, the economy would gain $3.7 million a year from taxes and wages and such, and the shift would create 25 new bookselling jobs.The study, (http://www.civiceconomics.com/SF/) released last week, was commissioned by the San Francisco Locally Owned Merchants Alliance along with support from the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association and the American Booksellers Association. Civic Economics, the research company, conducted the survey over two years.