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 business, 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.