Monday, July 16, 2007

Take Your Business Local?

Interesting. Some companies just want to stay a certain size and become exceptional at what they do versus extend themselves too far -- say go global -- and not compete or sustain very well locally or globally for that matter. Here are two compelling snapshots taken from the article:
Although the latest US Census Bureau statistics for small businesses in Erie County don’t specify whether they are locally owned, the data shows that 94 percent of the more than 27,000 businesses in the Buffalo Niagara region have fewer than 50 employees and a little less than half of those businesses have between one and four workers.
And another:
Supporting small-scale local business does not necessarily mean shunning larger or non-local ones, he adds. The BALLE philosophy, for instance, acknowledges that it’s often very difficult to know how (and where) to shop locally, and certain goods, like tropical produce or auto parts, must be imported. Instead, BALLE supports a balance between large and small, global and local, but in a way that puts the local owners on a more even playing field. It goes back to the multiplier, says Shuman.The more times a dollar circulates within a defined geographic area and the faster it circulates without leaving that area, the more income, wealth, and jobs it generates.”
See what you think -- article is here -- and I welcome your comments.

Also, of relevance, the co-founder of BALLE is Michael Shuman who wrote:
The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition. I wonder if he would have co-founded this organization had he not written the book? I'm all for supporting local, independent businesses, especially ones who are global. The bottom line: This is all about competing effectively locally and globally.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting this. I've been working in this field for more than a decade, and the Small-Mart Revolution is my second. The first was Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age in 1998. BALLE was founded by a group of a dozen of us in 2001, eager to help local businesses become more competitive.

Best, Michael Shuman

Laurel Delaney said...

Thanks Michael. Do you think a local small business can survive without looking across borders for additional business at some point?

I'm sure our readers would appreciate your wisdom on this topic.

Much appreciation,