Our decisions as a consumers influence the economies we choose to participate in.
Buying goods and services from any business in southeast Michigan means that you are creating jobs for residents of the region and generating sales tax revenues for the region — whether you are shopping at a national retailing chain or a locally owned mom + pop shop.
Shopping online has many benefits– for example, as a time-saver, as a way to reduce driving-time and to limit the opportunity for impulse purchasing. Buying something online from a national retailer you lose your power as a consumer to influence the creation and sustenance of jobs here in Southeast Michigan. Purchasing the same item from a national chain based in the region guarantees that you are supporting a job right here, at home.
Folks have argued in both directions about the environmental considerations of online versus in person shopping, for example the reduction of driving time associated with online shopping versus the increased amount of packaging that online shopping generates. Our short answer is that both of these things are true– sometimes– and that these calculations are specific and relative to what you are acquiring and where you live. Ultimately you get to choose how you prefer to spend your money-time resources.
The cost of doing business can be higher in Detroit than in other locations within our region. Businesses operating in Detroit presently pay higher millages than in neighboring townships, villages, and cities. On top of this, Detroit-located entities uniquely pay a corporate income tax (1.9%) and a utility users excise tax (5%). When faced with equitable goods and services vendor options in Detroit and in southeast Michigan, we see greater benefit to supporting the Detroit based businesses who, because of these additional tariffs, must sell more of their product to create the same profits as their regional counterparts.
According to Social Compact’s report, presently 30% of Detroit’s collective (retail) purchasing power is used outside of the City of Detroit. 8 Weeks Under 8 Mile believes that the more of this support we can return to the city, to self-nurture our locally owned or locally operated entities, the better, stronger, cleaner (and heck, faster!) the city will be.
So, is it better to buy from a locally owned mom and pop shop in the region than from a chain store based in Detroit? We already know that any business based in Detroit is being taxed at a higher rate than its regional competition. Did you know that many of the national chains based in Detroit are actually locally owned and operated franchises? Both locally owned AND locally operated businesses have their benefits and benefactors.
Purchasing goods and services online, in-person, and across the region– each has their benefits. Understanding the contributions that each action creates helps us to better choose our behavior to align with the outcomes we desire.