Studies have shown that farmers markets bring business into the hosting communities. Each dollar spent at a market can generate as much as an additional $1.40 in spending in the businesses surrounding the market. In addition, we know that more of the money spent in local businesses (such as farms) stay in the community than the money spent in “big box stores,” some studies suggest nearly double the benefit to local communities!

There is also a very real effect on neighborhoods. Successful markets increase property values, bring permanent businesses into empty storefronts and increase tax revenues for the hoist cities. Dozens of sites and cities have seen neighborhoods turned from places of little hope into thriving business zones because of the success of their markets. Empty lots become centers of commerce, abandoned parks find new life and with this success comes better roads, lighting, services and infrastructure, all from the success of a farmers market.

Finally, do not underestimate the value of the morale boost afforded communities by their farmers markets. Every market has groups of friends or family which greet one another and stop to share news. Many are frequented by local officials and leaders seeking to share information with their neighbors, and virtually all of them serve as a crossroads for the community, where everyone can come and share time and space. In a time when so many more traditional sharing activities may languish, it is difficult to put a value on the benefit your market can bring to its neighbors and businesses.