A quote from the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) website:
The choice of where you spend your money makes a big difference to your community. Spending your money with locally-owned independent businesses puts your money to work directly helping your community’s economy—just one way your community benefits from its home town businesses. Those businesses use goods and services of other locally-owned independent businesses–re-circulating your money about three-and-a-half times longer locally than if you spend it at a chain*. This creates greater community health and prosperity.