We’re working to encourage consumers to shop at locally-owned businesses, keep money in their communities, and contribute to a sustainable economy.

Posts from the “Article” Category

Big chains free ride on taxpayers while responsible small businesses suffer

Article

Of the 50 companies with the most employees on Medicaid in Massachusetts, almost half are retail and restaurant chains...The public cost of ensuring that employees of these companies have health insurance and enough to live on represents, in effect, a hidden corporate subsidy.

A new study shows that big chains like Walmart and Target force large numbers of their employees to rely on the government for health insurance. Meanwhile, responsible small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees do so at a significantly high cost–as much as $24,000 per year for one small bike shop in Colorado with four employees. Data published by the state of Massachusetts revealed that 4,327 Walmart employees— approximately one-quarter of its workforce — enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program or one of two other publicly subsidized health insurance programs, at a cost of $14.6 million a year to taxpayers. According to the report, Target has an even larger share of its workforce dependent on government health programs, with one-third of its employees…

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Shop local this Small Business Saturday, but don’t pay with American Express

Article

This Saturday marks the fourth annual “Small Business Saturday.” It’s part of a campaign by American Express to encourage Americans to shop at locally-owned brick-and-mortar businesses the day after Black Friday, when the masses typically swarm big-box chain stores on the hunt for cheap flat-screen TVs and other once-a-year bargains. Sounds like a great idea, right? AmEx must really care about supporting small independent businesses. Or so they’d like you to believe. In reality, AmEx just wants consumers to shop more, and pay with their AmEx cards when doing so. That’s because every time you pay with AmEx card, or any other credit card, the credit card company (as well as the issuing bank) makes money. And where does that money come from? The merchant, in…

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How you buy matters

Article

You may think you’re doing a great job supporting your local economy by making as many purchases as possible at local small businesses. But did you know you might actually be hurting your local small businesses by paying with a credit card? Most credit cards companies charge small businesses 3% or more of the total order, plus flat fees of 30 cents and up. Three percent doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider all the costs small businesses must absorb – advertising, payroll, taxes, and more – if a small business has a margin at the end of the day of 10 percent (which is on the high end in today’s economy), that 3% in credit card fees is costing the business 30%…

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Shift your thinking, shift your spending

Article

At Loyal to Local, we’ve pledged to buy local whenever possible, and we’ve outlined the reasons why shopping locally is better for the economy, for the environment, and for our communities. As consumers, most of us know we should shop local, but we’re often pressed for time, or unaware whether what we want is available locally. We’re all guilty of patronizing the big-box stores on occasion (even us here at Loyal to Local), whether due to convenience, price, or ignorance. So is shopping at locally owned businesses really worth the effort? In short, absolutely. And it doesn’t require a major life change. Based in New England, the 10% Shift is a campaign designed to “build strong local economies and vibrant communities” by encouraging consumers to…

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