Dane County-based retailers, restaurants have greater economic impact than chains

Locally owned retailers and restaurants in south-central Wisconsin have a greater economic impact on the area than national chains, according to a new report from consulting firm Civic Economics that was commissioned by Dane Buy Local.

Local retailers and restaurants were surveyed as part of the study, and it was found that the retailers return about 47% of the revenue they generate to Dane County’s economy. For the local restaurants, that figure was about 61%.

Meanwhile, Civic Economics found stores owned by “major national retail chains” including Office Depot, Home Depot, Target, and Barnes & Noble return an average of only 14% percent of generated revenue to the local market. For national restaurant chains including Darden, McDonald’s, and P.F. Chang’s, that figure averaged just 30%.

The report also estimates a “market shift of just 10% from chains to independents” would return an additional $173 million to Dane County’s economy each year.