You love the idea of buying local, but the next thing you know … click, you bought that blender online from a business based far from our community. It’s so easy! And your one purchase won’t really make a difference… or will it?
To get more specific about jobs, one study found that independent retailers employ 57 people for every $10 million in sales, while Amazon employs only 14 people per $10 million in revenue. In 2014, Amazon sales in New Hampshire resulted in a net loss of 1,193 retail jobs -- while the company employed only 130 workers in our state.
The latter statistic comes from a study by
Civic Economics called “Amazon & Empty Storefronts.” The study
found that Amazon’s sales in 2014 resulted in the loss of over $1
billion in tax revenues, 135,000 retail jobs, and 107 million square
feet of commercial space nationally.
In New Hampshire, the study compared Amazon’s
sales to the equivalent of losing 152 retail storefronts. As these
sales go to Amazon, instead of locally based businesses, state and local
governments lost property tax revenue totaling $2.9 million in 2014.
It’s also critical to note that Amazon makes up only 1/3 of all online
sales. Therefore, the total impacts are likely much larger than those
estimated in this report.
The rise of online shopping, undercutting Main Street retailers, also changes land use patterns. Amazon warehouses aren't placed downtown, but in remote industrial parks. The report concludes that demand for Main Street storefronts will decline, along with city and town government’s tax revenue base.
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