Quantifying Localism

Here’s an interesting way to begin thinking about how well we are doing at re-localizing our economy. This is for the entire US, and some of the numbers seem a little boosterish in favor of local, but hey, its a great start. This is from the New Rules Project.  I want to take this and adapt it and then begin applying it here.  What else do we need to measure to determine the “localness” of our economy?

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  • Number of new independent bookstores that have opened since 2005:  437
  • Increase since 2002 in the number of small specialty food stores:  1,414
  • Increase since 2002 in the number of small farms:  111,839
  • Number of farmers markets active in 2010:  6,132
  • Percentage of active farmers markets started since 2000:  53
  • Average percentage of shoppers at a large supermarket who have a conversation with another customer:  9
  • Average percentage of shoppers at a farmers market who have a conversation with another customer:  63
  • Percentage of bank assets held by small and mid-sized community banks:  22
  • Percentage of small business loans made by small and mid-sized community banks:  54
  • Growth in deposits at small banks and credit unions since 2008:  $77 billion
  • Number of chain pharmacy locations that opened in 2009:  177
  • Number of independent pharmacy locations that opened in 2009:  474
  • Number of Independent Business Alliances and Local First groups in 2005:  30
  • Number of Independent Business Alliances and Local First groups in 2010:  143
  • Percentage change in 2010 sales for independent businesses in cities without a Buy Local First initiative:  2.1
  • Percentage change in 2010 sales for independent businesses in cities with a Buy Local First initiative:  5.6
  • Increase since 2002 in the number of Starbucks company stores:  3,297
  • Increase since 2002 in the number of independent coffee shops:  4,923
  • Average portion of $100 spent at a Target store that stays in the local economy:  $16
  • Average portion of $100 spent at independent retailers that stays in the local economy:  $32
  • Average amount of local wages paid for every $100 spent at a full-service chain restaurant:  $18.68
  • Average amount of local wages paid for every $100 spent at a full-service locally owned restaurant:  $28.46
  • Minimum amount having a grocery store, bookstore, coffee shop and restaurant within half a mile of a house increases its value:  $21,000
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