Strong local business communities make for healthier people. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area with a vibrant local economy, you inherently know that the benefits go far beyond the business transaction. And now there’s more proof of just how far that connection goes. A recent study published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society concludes that:
“entrepreneurial culture facilitates collective efficacy for a community and provides a problem-solving capacity for addressing local public health problems…communities with a greater concentration of small businesses, ceteris paribus, have greater levels of population health.”
Previous studies have demonstrated that a thriving local business community makes for a more robust economy and higher property values, and that local business ownership is a boon to economic development. But this is one of the first studies that determines that a richer local-based economy correlates with healthier people. And it’s largely due to the face-to-face community dynamic reflected in these areas with thriving local businesses:
“With respect to the well-being of communities and public health, the notion of self-development implies that community residents and leaders have a higher level of collective efficacy or the capacity and willingness of community members to take responsibility for solving local problems.”
So, to recap, communities with strong local businesses have higher property values, higher rates of economic growth and have healthier overall populations while avoiding the one-size-fits-all monoculture that makes each town look like the next.
What’s not to love about that?