Love Live Local | LOCAL MATTERS: Spotlight on Service Providers

The following report is the result of a months-long research and analysis commissioned by Love Live Local from consulting firm Civic Economics that quantifies and assesses the impact of Cape Cod’s locally owned businesses in the personal and professional services sector on our local economy, as compared to national chains and online corporations – Local Matters: Spotlight on Service Providers

This is the third installment of the organization’s Local Matters series, which aims to demonstrate and emphasize that locally owned businesses are not only important partners in the employment of the domestic workforce, but they are also valuable wealth generators for their communities, along with providing intangibles like community character.

With this third study, Love Live Local sought to expand the ‘shop local conversation’ to include business and personal service providers, alongside their retail and restaurant local business counterparts, since they too face challenges due to the proliferation of national chains and ecommerce giants. Local accountants and bookkeepers, printers, and information technology providers face competition from big box chains as well as online services. Fitness centers face national corporate competitors and a growing online marketplace that was intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local veterinary practices, dentist offices, real estate outfits and funeral homes are getting bought up by large corporations and private equity firms. And the local travel, legal, continuing education, and insurance sectors have all been negatively impacted by the rapid spread of online commerce.

The first in the series, Local Matters: Measuring Impact, published in 2020, demonstrated that dollars spent at locally owned retailers and restaurants generate more local prosperity. The data analysis performed by economics consulting firm Civic Economics found that local retailers and restaurants keep about 2-4 times as much money in the local economy as their national chain competitors; and shifting 10% of spending to local retailers would put an additional $112 million in the local economy every year. The 2021 research titled Local Matters: Investigating Influence explored why, despite their demonstrated importance to economic health and prosperity, small local businesses consistently face significant challenges in an increasingly corporatized global marketplace.

Key findings from the Local Matters: Spotlight on Service Providers report:

  • Local service providers like those listed above are an important contributor to the local economy, representing a $1.5 billion industry on Cape Cod and employing 9.1% of Cape Cod’s workforce.
  • Through local business surveys, there was enough data to analyze the impact of two personal and business service industries: fitness centers and accounting firms, which recirculate 50-85% more of their revenue into the local economy than their corporate competitors.
  • When comparing these local firms to a virtual or online service, the difference is even more dramatic. There is virtually no economic benefit to Barnstable County when using a business service that is not located on Cape Cod.

Love Live Local plans to not only use this information as an educational tool, but also to do further research and evaluation of the challenges and issues impacting the small local businesses in the Cape Cod community.

Please feel free to share with your networks – we only ask that you credit us when doing so.

Happy to talk further about this report, as well as any of the others we have published.

Sincerely, Amanda
Amanda Converse
co-founder + Executive Director 
Love Live Local


Love Live Local is a Cape Cod organization dedicated to community advocacy and educating consumers on the importance of shopping local.