Apr
21
2016
Home & Garden
2016

Why Shop Local?

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From creating new jobs, supporting local sports teams, or providing unique entertainment opportunities shopping local has a positive impact on your community. For many, shopping local is a necessity, for others it can be a habit or a result of accessibility to goods. Why do you shop locally? Why don't you? The reasons why you choose to purchase items from outside the region vary but there are several reasons why you may want to shop locally instead.


Real Cost of Goods.
Don't forget to factor in the hidden prices of an item. If you are purchasing an item out of town travel costs will add to the overall price of the item, and don't forget to account for your time as well. Even if a local retailer doesn't have the item in stock they may be able to contact their suppliers to get the item for you instead.
In our region we do have a higher cost of operation for land and labour however many of our businesses are developing creative ways to counteract these overhead costs to provide consumers with the best price available. If you are comparing a local business to an out-of-town organization be sure to communicate with the local business and be honest about pricing differences.


Buying local means supporting local businesses.
If no one shops in our community our businesses will close. If our businesses close not only do we lose those services, but we lose tax revenue and we lose diversity in our community. A strong business community means more options available for residents and a stronger positive impact on their quality of life.
For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 remain in the local economy. That money is spent on taxes, which helps fund our fire department, police department and schools. It is paid out in wages, which residents re-invest in the local economy by purchasing groceries, clothing, sporting equipment, entertainment and more. Those funds also go towards local charities and social profit organizations which provide necessary services and resources.


Local vendors know the local community.
Are you looking for advice on walking trails? The local outdoor store will be able to offer you some great advice. If you are attending an event local retailers have more background on what is expected for attire, and they may even be able to help you by ensuring that you are the only one in a specific outfit. Local businesses have a vested interest in seeing their community grow and thrive. Becoming a regular can also have its perks.  You may get a discount on a regularly ordered item, or get an extra cookie tossed in with your daily coffee, and how much fun is it to be able to walk in somewhere and ask for "the regular"?


The Environment. 
Because items are coming to a local store in bulk, purchasing from local retailers requires less transportation than individual items purchased outside of the region. Shopping local has a positive impact on our carbon footprint.


Creating a Community. 
Our region is known for its welcoming and giving nature. That one purchase you made may support a local business struggling to stay afloat, which in turn means that the employees working there get to keep their jobs. In this challenging economic climate it is especially important that we support our neighbours by shopping locally. 


If we want to see a larger variety of businesses in our region we have to make the business environment as welcoming and vibrant as the rest of our community. And let's not forget about the social aspect. Take the chance to make new friends by taking a craft/fitness class, eating at a new restaurant, or holding a meeting at a new location. These are small ways you can help create a more diverse and prosperous community. 

ALEXIS FOSTER

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