It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and with that comes Christmas Carols, seasonal celebrations and gift giving! Make shopping easier on yourself and support your community and the environment by shopping locally. No long drives to crowded shopping malls if you simply shop in your own home town, with people who serve you all year round and who can help make brilliant suggestions for everyone on your list.
An added benefit when you support your local merchant is that you also support your whole community. This is how it works…when you spend your Christmas shopping dollars with locally owned businesses that money gets recycled through your community in many ways. Buying local supports jobs in the retail shops in your town – in economic development we call those direct jobs. The owner also hires local trades, buys supplies and services for her business locally like stationery and bookkeeping – we call those indirect jobs. Then all of the people who get paid from all of those local businesses spend their paychecks at the local grocery store, gas stations, restaurants – we call those induced jobs. So between direct, indirect and induced jobs you can see what a huge economic impact your local spending has.
In rural Ontario you will also find that those local business owners often sponsor minor sports teams or events in your community. They are strong supporters of our not for profit organizations too. They help to keep the downtown looking great with flags, benches and garbage receptacles. All of this is so important for creating a sense of community. Shopping local is vital for your community to thrive!
Shopping locally is better for the environment. Locally owned businesses generally set up in close proximity to each other in your downtown core. This generally means a shorter drive leading to lower emission rates, less congestion, and reduced habitat loss caused by large fringe shopping malls.
So remember this year as you plan your Christmas shopping buy local because;
- You help keep more money in your local economy
- You support local jobs
- You help the environment
- You encourage community spirit
- You get better customer service
- You support local charities
- Your support local sports and events.
I’m Vicki Lass, with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in the Stratford Resource Center wishing you happy local shopping!