Why is there such a need for a renewed Hempstead campaign focusing on the triple bottom line of being economically, socially and environmentally beneficial, especially as is relates to supporting local business and alternative transportation? See the graphs below…
The above graph, ‘Hempstead 2011′ tells the story of the $100 million each year that is currently spent by the Village of Hempstead residents outside of the Village of Hempstead because they have limited choices within the existing downtown for certain retail products and services.
Notice the huge spike at the left of the graph? That represents the people who exclusively drive to get around and shop only at national and regional chains. Most people aren’t aware that shopping at chains contributes to money leaving your local economy. For instance…
According to one study, when compared to leading national chain competitors, like Target, on a per square foot basis, local retailers generate twice the annual sales; recirculate revenue within the local economy at twice the rate; and have four times the economic impact in terms of wages, profits, procurement of goods and services, and charitable giving. See summaries of this study and many others here.
Compare this to the right side of the graph, which represents people who drive less and buy local. The problem is, even if these people wanted to be part of a vibrant, walkable community, supporting local establishments, those options don’t exist in downtown Hempstead, forcing dollars to be spent elsewhere where it boosts other economies.
The second graph, ‘Hempstead 2020 based on current trend’ demonstrates what happens to Hempstead’s economy assuming it inevitably recovers economically, eventually attracting more national chains, parking garages and cars. While that would result in less money being spent outside of the Village of Hempstead (shown in red), there would now be a significant amount of locally spent dollars leaving the neighborhood (shown in orange) based on the fact that the corporate profit from spending related to chains, cars and gas still leaves Hempstead, and even the state of New York. Not only that, but Hempstead’s local culture would slowly be replaced by a more corporate one.
The third graph, ‘Hempstead 2020 based on triple-bottom-line trend’ shows that those who wish to retain their auto-centric, national chain lifestyle can carry on doing so, whether they spend outside (red) or within Hempstead (orange). The green area is a significant hunk of the economy that Hempstead can keep for itself if it provides localized options for those who are seeking alternatives to the national chains and car-dependent lifestyles. The New Hempstead Campaign represents the creation of that green area. By utilizing a triple-bottom-line (economically, socially, environmentally beneficial) approach that results in a more vibrant walkable downtown culturally unique to Hempstead, you now have the option to walk, bike, and shop at a new generation of exciting new and revitalized local independent businesses.
Not only will significantly more money stay in the local economy (represented by that green area of the graph), it also will draw new dollars from visitors, as well as establish a unique local culture to rival all of New York.