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      SyracuseFirst contributes to local businesses' success, according to survey

      Central New York, your local independent businesses are benefitting from your support. According to a survey conducted by the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), communities across the country with an active â??Buy Localâ?? campaign, like SyracuseFirst, averaged an increased revenue growth of 8.6% in 2012, compared to only 3.4% growth in communities without an active program.

      The survey gathered sales data from 2,377 businesses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Businesses here in Central New York were very active in the survey, earning the ILSR benchmark as a highly engaged city.

      75% of businesses polled said the â??Buy Localâ?? initiative had a positive effect on their business, with nearly half saying it improved customer loyalty.

      The vast majority, or 87%, said that it mattered to their customers that they were supporting a locally-owned business.

      One of the largest challenges facing independent businesses is one of the few things that tie them to larger retailers in a brick-and-mortar setting: â??show rooming.â??

      This is where customers go into a local shop to try out a product or service, and then buy it tax-free online, often right in the store.

      This problem is something that many feel needs to be addressed by some form of legislative change, because it is affecting businesses across the board.

      Amazon is one example of a website that currently does not charge customers in some states sales taxes.

      The choice is up to customers on whether their hometown businesses thrive.

      "A vibrant and healthy local economy that is creating jobs and re-invests in itself is inextricably tied to the success of locally-owned, independent businesses," said Chris Fowler, Founder and Executive Director of SyracuseFirst, "and these results illustrate how consumers value these businesses and the uniqueness, creativity, and diversity they bring to Central New York."