The benefits of shopping local? Researchers say locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships while also contributing to local causes.

Grand Valley State University Economics Professor Paul Isely tells WOOD Radio up to 60 cents of every dollar spent locally supports the community.

"That is money that somebody gets because somebody gets a haircut. You neighbor got money because somebody went to a local store. That is money that stays in the community."

Isely says compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community. Isley says local only works if that local price remains competitive

"If you are going to pay more locally, that drains money because you don't have money to purchase other things. As long as the local is competitive, it is the best buy."