#MyMoneyStaysLocal Campaign Debuts, Reminding Consumers to Support Small Businesses
With the coronavirus pandemic still heavily impacting American life, small businesses across the nation continue to be among the hardest hit. Not only have closures hurt local businesses but so have shifting consumer habits. For example, rises in online shopping and delivery services have increased as a result of the crisis. While these activities can include small and local businesses, more often than not, it’s been major corporations such as Amazon that have seen the biggest boosts. That’s why the small business networking site Alignable recently unveiled a new campaign: #MyMoneyStaysLocal.
The #MyMoneyStaysLocal effort is not only aimed at reminding consumers to support the small business in their communities but also encourage fellow business owners to do the same. While this has been important in the past, it could very well be a saving grace for some operations during this incredibly difficult time. According to survey data from Alignable, 3% of small businesses have permanently closed since the start of the pandemic while 40% are at risk of running out of cash by the end of this month.
As part of the campaign, Alignable is inviting businesses and consumers to calculate how much of their spending takes place in the community. As an example, offering their own figures, the company calculates that 66% of its spending stayed in its home market of Boston last month.
For businesses, the spreadsheet for finding this number breaks down into local expenses (such as payroll, rent, and supplies for local vendors) and non-local expenses (web hosting, communications, etc). Similarly, the consumer edition highlights purchases from local and non-local businesses. In either case, “local” is defined as within 25 miles of your location — although this is surely malleable depending on the situation.
Speaking to the need for the #MyMoneyStaysLocal initiative, Alignable’s co-founder and CEO Eric Groves said in a statement, “Local economies desperately need everyone to switch back to shopping locally to help fuel their recovery. People need to realize local businesses spend 50% or more of what they earn, on average, back in their own communities, causing much-needed cash to circulate throughout their local economies.” Groves went on the note, “In comparison, online spending drains this cash from your community and sends it off to the headquarters of these huge corporations.”
Of course, Alignable isn’t the only company looking to bring customers back to local shops and restaurants. One notable small business ally has been American Express, who is currently incentivizing cardholders to Shop Small with a $5 statement credit that can be triggered up to 10 times. However, Amex’s definition of a “small” business can be a bit loose and is not restricted to purely local offerings. Nevertheless, the perk seems to fit perfectly with the #MyMoneyStaysLocal movement.
Although hashtags and mottos won’t save small businesses on their own, the sentiments behind efforts like Shop Small and now #MyMoneyStaysLocal are important. For one, it may help consumers realize just how endangered and in need of support their local shops are. Additionally, turning to the silver lining, these campaigns present a chance for businesses in a given community to come together and explore future collaborative possibilities. With that in mind, it may serve consumers and small businesses well to calculate their local spending numbers and see how they can personally raise these figures for themselves.
Also published on Medium.