Where should your loyalty lie? With a locally owned coffee shop or the global success Starbucks? When you spend a dollar locally it is respent in the community again and again. In macroeconomic language this is the “local fiscal multiplier”. What is this magic number and why should you care? Well the quick answer is about 3, the long answer is between 1.7 and 7 depending on the definition of community, nature of the spending….(yawn), relative economic development…(Zzzzz). You get the picture, no one really knows exactly but it is important. You buy your coffee at Starbucks it is smaller, spend it at The Buzz it will be bigger.
So why, I ask myself, are locally owned coffee shops closing and Starbucks opening even more outlets? Have we lost our sense of community? Are we unaware of the positive impact of buying locally? Or is it that we simply prefer Starbucks coffee. It’s consistent, the staff are well trained and friendly and it’s clean. Standards are set and maintained.
A review of Yelp.com for Nanaimo coffee shops makes interesting reading. Real time reviews by customers who are vocal enough to comment should not be ignored by owners and managers alike.
Next time you are wondering where to meet for a coffee think about the “local fiscal multiplier” and consider going local. If you’re not satisfied let the owner know why and what they need to do to keep your custom. Wouldn’t you like to choose from a range of world class local businesses. I know I would!