What is the 10% Shift?

Learn about how shifting 10% of your spending to local independent vendors will create more jobs and improve your local economy!

The 10% Shift- Our Own Local Stimulus Plan!

A Declaration of Local Independents

Bailouts, tax abatements, zero interest T-bills, bank failures… it’s a wild and unpredictable economic world out there. It seems as if we are at the mercy of forces outside our control. We wait for help to “trickle down” from the government or big business but our local economy needs it now, not later. Isn’t there another possibility?

Yes! It’s time to take a stand for local economic independence! We can rebuild our economy and revitalize our community. The national and global economy has failed to live up to its promise of providing a stable livelihood and has placed our communities and our precious environment in great peril.  Locally owned and independent businesses (Local Independents) demonstrate every day that the closer to home we do business, the more our communities and the local economy benefit. When we buy from Local Independents (instead of non-locally owned businesses) the `Local Multiplier’ is set in motion and local economic activity grows by as much as three-fold. 

A 10% Shift would help us do just that. 10% Shift is a growing movement that is transforming economies across the country. At a time when new ideas are needed, the 10% Shift offers an immediate and measurable way to strengthen our local economy and build a better future.  It is a strategy that leverages our economic power, stimulates the emerging green economy, and is inclusive- offering hope and resources for the most economically distressed communities. By shifting where we spend our dollars, we can build a strong and more independent regional economy.

Like the declarations of revolutionary leaders of the past, this `Declaration of Local Independents’ calls for a more perfect economic structure and inspires bold action. It’s time for all of us, citizens, businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies, to sign the 10% Shift Pledge to shift 10% of our purchases from non-local businesses to Local Independents. 

Making this modest behavior change will have a transformative impact on Ithaca and our surrounding region.  Several studies have detailed the significant influence a 10% Shift would have on local economies. According to Cornell Cooperative Extension, “Buying locally produced food keeps money circulating in our community. If everyone spent 10% of their grocery and dining dollars on local foods, we would generate over 29 million dollars of economic value for our region!”.

Of course, this same principal applies to all of the other goods and services that we spend our hard earned dollars on. Ithaca College Economics professor Elia Kacapyr projects Tompkins County 2009 holiday sales to be somewhere around $237,000,000. That number doesn’t include on-line internet sales that are made by our residents but leak money from our local area and provide no benefit to our local economy. A 10% shift in holiday sales would result in $23,700,000 staying right here at home. The result would be job creation, economic vitality and a vibrant quality of life.

When we spend our dollars at a Local Independent, we keep more money in our hometown-supporting our community’s schools, social services, public library and local non-profits. Local Independents return about 80% of each dollar to the community. Each dollar spent at a Local Independent will return at least three times that amount within the community through city taxes, employees’ wages and purchases of goods and services from other Local Independents. It’s not about spending more, it’s about shifting where we choose to spend our money.

Let’s celebrate what makes Ithaca a great place to live. This holiday season and beyond, let’s put our money where we live. Think Local First!