4 ways cycling supports local businesses

People on bikes make spontaneous stops

You know how it goes. You’re driving downtown and spot an intriguing little restaurant you’ve never seen before. You’d like to try it out but you’re already moving in a stream of traffic and parking looks to be non-existent, so you continue on your planned A to B route.

In dense downtown areas, it can be tough to accommodate spontaneous stops in a car – especially when parking is scarce – yet restaurants, coffee shops and local stores often depend on passer-by traffic. Cyclists ride slowly enough to see businesses; they can stop and lock their bikes on a whim, and they can carry way more than a pedestrian – thanks, baskets and handlebars.

People on bikes will travel further than pedestrians

Even at a leisurely pace, cycling is 4x faster than walking. While it’s unlikely you’ll walk an extra two or three miles merely to check out one store, it takes no time at all on a bike.

People on bikes shop more often

Cyclists can’t carry as much as their car-driving counterparts, which means they shop with more regularity. This increases the possibility of “temptation spending”, a well-documented consumer behaviour. The more we’re exposed to potential purchases – that cookbook/rug/painting we’ve been ogling – the more likely we are to actually buy.

Cyclists spend more money locally

It makes sense given everything we’ve already talked about, but don’t take our word for it. Studies conducted all over the world – both in the US and as far away as Toronto, Switzerland and New Zealand – all came to the same conclusion.

The benefits of this stretch far beyond simply supporting places we love. Neighborhood dollars spent help create jobs within the community; they keep our hometowns unique, and they go towards sustaining the local economy as a whole. A series of studies by the research firm Civic Economics found that 48% of purchases at local independent businesses go right back into the community, compared to less than 14% of sales made at chain stores.

No bike? No problem. Rent a Coast bike for as little as $8 per hour, or sign up for a monthly membership to keep you Coast’n all year long.

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