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Now that we are into the warmer seasons, it’s a wonderful time for a little ‘Shop Local’ reminder.
Shopping local means something a little bit different to everyone. For me it means I try to find shopping needs as near to my house as possible. Most times that means close… sometimes that means a little farther. But I always consider my more local options first.
As for the “why”?
We often hear how important it is to shop locally, but as a known shop-local-advocate, I get asked why exactly it’s such a vital piece of our local economy.
Here’s my 5 great reasons why the Shop Local Movement means so much to our Canadian communities:
- Keep One-Of-A-Kind Businesses in Business: There are some pretty amazing unique and independent business out there thanks to local entrepreneurs who dreamed up an idea and brought it to life. The only way we get to keep visiting the small cafes and shops and hiring the service providers we love, is if they are still here. And, they will only survive if we support them… with our wallets and words.
- Create Good Local Jobs: Small businesses employ about 70 per cent of Canadians who work in the private sector. That’s a big chunk of the employment pie. You can bet when those small businesses create a role and hire someone to fill it, they are doing it mindfully. Small businesses employ everyone from our teenagers to our grandparents — they are helping fund college tuition and the road to retirement. Plus, those are good jobs we know aren’t moving across borders anytime soon.
- Local Food Tastes Better: There’s something about an apple grown a stone’s throw from your front yard that makes it taste better, isn’t there (who’s with me!)? Our local farmers’ markets are filled with delicious and nutritious food grown in your neighbourhood. In some cases, you can pick up food that was picked just that morning. Asparagus is crispier, maple syrup is sweeter and apple pies are more delectable when they come from a local family-run business. I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.
- Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: On the topic of food, why have peas shipped thousands of kilometres from home when you could buy them from the farm they grew on down the road?? Getting food products closer to home means we don’t have to ship so much in from the outside. Or, why waste gas driving to the big city to buy a new television, when there are fine shops near you that offer the same product? Keep it close to home instead, and reduce that nasty carbon footprint we hear so much about.
- Keep Your Money in Your Neighbourhood: There’s no better feeling than knowing that almost every dollar I spend at a local business stays right here in our community. A loonie from that latte went to supporting a local charity event, a toonie from that Thai food helped sign a young girl up for a local soccer team. Buying online and from big box often means our community never gets a cut. Keep your dollars in your own hood!
We are all proud to live in our communities, so let’s keep it that way. Summer is the perfect time to make a promise to support local as much as we can. Let’s renew our ‘Shop Local’ vows this Summer, and really give our community a wonderful boost.
As a shop local expert, Avery Kloss owns and operates the Brantford Ontario entity of Canada’s comprehensive directory of locally owned businesses. Shop Brantford and Shop City are built on the belief that if we spent our money supporting local businesses we would organically grow our economy and build amazing communities.