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The benefits of a thriving local independent business sector are not limited to economic benefits. Possibly equally important is that independent businesses define the community’s self-image and create a sense of pride for the people who live there. National chain retailers, on the other hand, can homogenize a community and reduce its element of uniqueness and originality.  Many communities are choosing to take control of their own economic character by supporting unique one-of-a-kind local businesses.

A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the need of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

A growing body of research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character with multiple consumer choices.

Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation, and generally operate from within city centers as opposed to developing on the outskirts of a city. More commercial districts result in fewer vehicle miles travelled and lead to less sprawl. Less transportation also means less traffic congestion, which has the potential to reduce the amount of fuel emission that contributes to air pollution. This generally means contributing to less sprawl, congestion, wildlife, habitat loss and pollution.