The Indie City Index identifies locations in the U.S. with the highest percentage of independent retailers. Released in January 2011 by Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association, it aims to highlight urban centres that support independent retailers.
The index promotes the idea that local independent businesses can enhance the identity of a community and create a sense of place that endlessly replicated chain stores cannot match.
It extends from studies quantifying the economic and community benefits of independent retail and service providers. These studies have found that locally-owned and independent businesses recirculate substantially more money within the local economy than do chain store competitors.
The Index was constructed from the proportion of local retail sales not captured by the major chains. An Index of 100 represents the national average. Index scores above 100 represent healthier independent retail markets while scores below 100 represent the more chain-dominated markets.
The main message highlighted by the Indie City Index is that communities are strengthened by a vibrant indie retail sector and on first pass it appears that the index scores rise with total population and population density. Index scores also increase overall as indicators of attractiveness, median home value, cost of living and educational and cultural achievement rise.
For more information on the Indie City Index click here.