join the survey series 

The methodology is designed to be simple, but it does require the local sponsoring organization to recruit participation from independent storefront retailers and restaurants. With partial matching funds provided by the ABA, we are able to provide this service to communities at modest cost.

If you think your community might wish to participate, download this introduction to the process, then contact Matt Cunningham to discuss getting started.  

But most communities cannot muster the resources to do it.  That's why Civic Economics offers the Indie Impact Study Series, allowing organizations with limited resources to develop localized data to show the enhanced economic impact provided by independent retailers, restaurants, and service providers. 

indie impact study series

In the years following the release of the very first independent business impact study in 2002, many communities have approached us about conducting a similar study. And while many communities have managed to develop the financial and staff resources to develop a unique and detailed local study, many more have not. 

Through the years, it became quite clear that even a tightly focused local study in a particular community can produce valuable local information and earned media. One only needs to talk to the business alliances in cities like Vancouver, Grand Rapids, New Orleans, or San Francisco to understand the value these initiatives can bring.  


Since 2012, communities all across the nation have completed the process, including the following:

Bainbridge Island, WA

British Columbia

Buffalo, NY

Cape Cod, MA

Charleston, SC

Chicago, IL (multiple districts)

Hudson Valley, NY

Ithaca, NY

Las Vegas, NM

Louisville, KY

Madison, WI

Milwaukee, WI

Monadnock Region, NH

Ogden, UT

Oklahoma City, OK

Pleasanton, CA

Raleigh, NC (twice)

Rhode Island

Salt Lake City, UT

Syracuse NY

White River Valley, VT & NH

Collectively, businesses in these and other communities have completed hundreds of individual surveys.  From those, we have produced the charts below, depicting the typical impact advantage brought by independents versus their national chain competitors.