I recently attended a business breakfast hosted by the Stirling Business Association with David Eaton, Small Business Commissioner.

With some 93% of non-government employment being by small businesses, it is critical to understand how important buying locally is to vibrant healthy businesses that can buy goods and services from your own business – and employ your children.

You might be surprised to know how much of an impact there is from buying overseas. Right now we are experiencing a drain from the Australian economy through international intermediary businesses like Uber Eats and Trivago, to how the advertising industry has fundamentally changed via Google and Facebook, as well as overseas-owned resources companies. On top of this, we see overseas purchases of many goods and services.

I would be interested to see the modelling here – the statistics on taxation are astonishing with large international companies paying a fraction of the tax that small and mid-sized businesses pay. It is an issue that collectively governments need to tackle to level the playing field.

So you might wonder how is this affecting our economy – which despite some recent improvement is still weak in many sectors.

One study that sought to model the effect of buying local was commissioned by the City of Stirling following a Buy Local economic impact study completed in the City of Geraldton by Remplan.

The study sought to understand the impact of buying from a small business retailer, against a regional branch or online.

For $100 of expenditure and for each of 1) a locally owned business, 2) a local branch and 3) an online store, the following was estimated:

•           Local Expenditure
•           Wages & salaries
•           Gross Operating Surplus
•           Total estimated to remain in the community (sum of the above)

Sector: Retail
Expenditure: $100

Small Business
Local Expenditure $25.22
Wages & Salaries $27.59
Gross Operating Surplus $14.06
TOTAL $66.88

Local Branch
Local Expenditure $21.44
Wages & Salaries $27.59
Gross Operating Surplus $0.00
TOTAL $49.03

Online Store
Local Expenditure $2.05 (primarily local delivery / courier costs)
Wages & Salaries $0.00
Gross Operating Surplus $0.00
TOTAL $2.05

So, my call to you is to buy local wherever you can!

With thanks to Nigel Redwood, Economic Development Officer, City Planning from the City of Stirling for the data.