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Arizona’s local businesses post revenue gains in 2015

(Facebook/Phoenix Public Market)

Arizona’s independently-owned businesses saw strong revenue increases last year.

A new independent business survey showed a 7.1 percent increase in sales for local businesses in the state last year. That is higher than revenue growth for independent businesses nationwide, which was at 6.6 percent.

The survey was conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in partnership with the Advocates for Independent Business. During this past holiday season, Arizona’s locally owned businesses reported a 5.2 percent holiday sales gain. That’s nearly 60 percent higher than the national average.

“People are really starting to recognize that you create more economic activity (and) more jobs when you spend at local businesses,” said Kimber Lanning, director of Local First Arizona.

She said one of the benefits of shopping at a local business is that much of the revenue stays in the state.

“When you shop at independent businesses, three times more of that money stays and recirculates in the local economy,” Lanning said.

The survey also showed an increase in hiring thanks to revenue gains in 2015. Nationwide employment expanded at independent businesses by 5.6 percent. Arizona also saw a 5.6 percent increase in hiring.

Lanning said Local First Arizona works to connect and promote local businesses. She expects those businesses to continue to thrive in the state into the future. She said they have had success in many downtown districts like downtown Phoenix.

“We’re seeing nothing but upward growth,” Lanning said. “More and more millennials and even retired boomers are saying ‘We love independent businesses.’ They’re out at the restaurants, and the scene (there) is really thriving.”

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