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Local Commerce Studies

The volume of police calls in West Sadsbury, Pennsylvania, jumped 27 percent following the opening of a Wal-Mart. In Vista, California, Sheriff's Lt. Grant Burnett says shoplifters at a new Wal-Mart have been a major contributor to the 24 percent rise in the town's crime rate.
Downtown business districts do not generate the same level of crime for several reasons. They are not open 24 hours a day. Criminals passing through seem to prefer the anonymity of a Wal-Mart store along the highway to the intimacy of Bob's Hardware on Main Street. Local retailers, moreover, do not call the police for every bad check or shoplifting incident, while chain stores have a policy of prosecuting every offense.”

Three times as much money stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses compared to chain stores, according to an analysis by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Midcoast Maine.”

“The analysis found that the chain returns just 14.1 percent of its revenue to the local economy, mostly in the form of payroll. The rest leaves the state, flowing to out-of-state suppliers or back to corporate headquarters.
The survey also found that the local businesses contributed more to charity than national chains. The eight businesses made $24,000 in cash donations, which amounts to 0.4 percent of their revenue. That's four times as much, relative to overall sales, as Wal-mart gave to charity in 2002, and twice as much as Target gave. .