Small Business Community Impact

What do we mean to the community?

I want to assess my company’s value to the local community: how much of my revenue is spent locally, and can I do anything to improve it?


Obviously, all our employees live in town. You can’t do brick and mortar retail remotely. That’s about 11% of our expenses. Also, wages are reinvested in the community. None of my employees are billionaires. People who earn normal, people-level amounts of money spend all of it. None of it is removed from the economy through hoarding. These salaries are spent on local rents, local utilities, local car purchases, clothes, medicine, and other vendors.

I’m at 100% here. I can’t improve this figure.


The owner of our shopping center lives in town and occasionally visits the store. The property manager lives in town. The property is not part of a major chain. All the properties they represent are in Jacksonville.

Rent is about 12% of our expenses.

I can’t improve this figure.

Service and Maintenance

Our HVAC person is a local independent technician.

I’ve had to shop around for plumbers, because I haven’t been happy with any of them. Sometimes I use a chain.

My light guy is a local independent.

I could improve this figure by a small amount if I could find a plumber who a) fixes plumbing, and b) doesn’t charge 3 times as much as other plumbers. I’m astonished and dismayed at how hard that is.


Our largest supplier has multiple warehouses, but they are based in Florida, and we order from their Florida warehouse. One of our secondaries has a Jacksonville location, but they are not based in Jacksonville. Of course, we have multiples sources of merchandise to get stuff that’s out of stock at our primary or exclusive to that vendor (like Games Workshop). We also stock nearly any game-related products we can source locally.

We have a display of locally designed games that I gathered from their sorted-by-category placement throughout the rest of the store and now merchandise below a sign displaying their local status. It’s intended to be a focal point for customers who are eager to support the community and an enticement to any local game or game accessory producers who haven’t already reached out to us.

Our Jacksonville-based merchandise purchases are only about 1% of our expenses, but if we extend our definition of local by about 100 miles, I can add another 35%. Peach State Hobby is our primary distributor, providing us with all of our role-playing games, Magic, the Nolzur’s miniatures line, almost all of our non-GW hobby supplies, and a large minority of our board games.

I am working on creating more merchandise so that we can improve this figure.


Electricity is a local expense, and—this being Florida—it’s a lot of money. It’s not cheap to cool a 5,100-square foot building filled with gamers. Phone and internet expense goes to the necessary giant mega-corporations. Insurance is underwritten by a large corporation through an agent in our shopping center.

At one point, Jacksonville was the insurance capital of the world. During the 90s, a lot of those companies moved their corporate headquarters out of town. Back then, I could have claimed my liability insurance premium stayed local, but that’s not the case anymore.  

I don’t think I have any Jacksonville-based options for insurance carriers or Internet carriers that have a reputation I trust. I tried a local phone carrier once, and it caused my business almost terminal damage.

The local portion of our utility expense is about 3.5%.

I can’t do anything to improve this figure.


I pay the Florida sale tax, of course, on monies collected in the store. Without providing detail to give, let’s just say that it’s…enough. I owe various small fees to the city of Jacksonville and the state of Florida. Payroll taxes are federal, so that’s a zero.

When I talk about sales, I always talk about net sales (and so should you). That’s the amount of sales you conduct not counting sales tax. I ever make a statement here about seeing $10,000 in sales, that figure doesn’t include the $750 I collected and turned over to the state of Florida. However, the aggregated smaller, fixed figures fees might be another .5% (it’s not, but I’m rounding it up because my running total isn’t even, and I want it to be).


If we include our nearby inventory purchases, 63% of our expenses stay in the community or the state. That’s a larger impact than I expected, and it demonstrates how important small business are to a community’s financial health.

Compare that to an Amazon purchase, in which 0% of the money goes to the community. Buying local matters.