Increase public awareness of the benefits associated with spending and contracting locally – Understanding the economic advantages of keeping money in the local economy motivates people to purchase goods and services locally. Local businesses and residents buying and selling locally boost the local economy. For example, contracting with a local builder to construct an addition to a resident’s home retains money locally and adds value to the tax base, which in turn increases tax revenues local governments can use to provide services.
Increase the number and quality of local retail stores and services – The more goods and service available locally, the less the temptation to drive to a neighboring town to shop. It is usually difficult to convince a national chain to locate a store if local demographics and traffic counts do not meet minimum requirements for the company. Communities usually have more success convincing existing business owners, local entrepreneurs, retirees, or local investors to start new businesses.
Stop, reduce, and minimize the outflow of money by filling gaps in the availability of products and services – Many times a community will have a decent selection of retail establishments but finds they are lacking in a critical area. Not having a fine dining restaurant or a home improvement store motivates residents to dine and shop in neighboring markets. The real problem is when these trips turn into daylong shopping events where goods available locally end up in the out-of-town shopping cart.
If an outflow cannot be stopped, attempt to reduce its impact on the local economy – For example, finding ways to reduce energy costs reduces energy consumption and the outflow of money.
Usually, for an upfront investment in more insulation or conversion to a cheaper fuel, consumers are able to reduce their long term energy costs. Of course they have to recoup their upfront investment before any savings are realized. Once breakeven is reached, home owners and businesses continue to pay less for energy, increasing the amount of money they have to spend and reducing the amount of money flowing out of the local economy. When available, a local, state or national subsidy program can decrease the cost to consumers and shorten the breakeven period.