You hear all the time, especially during the holiday shopping season, that you should shop local. Ever wonder what kind of impact it really has? Do you wonder why there are such calls to support our small local businesses?
Not only does shopping small keep money in the local economy, but it actually creates more jobs and wealth! Can you believe that by just shifting 10% of your purchases to local, it can help out so many people?
Most Canadians (and Albertans -- we'll get to this in a few weeks!) are employed by small businesses. By redirecting your money towards local businesses, you can help our community and city grow exponentially! (Source)
Do you know where your money goes when you shop? Check out these statistics that show when you spend your money at small businesses, the money tends to stay within the local economy! (Source)( Source)
That's so important, ESPECIALLY during difficult and unforeseen times such as now. Investing your dollars into your favourite businesses is a guaranteed way to strengthen our communities overall, as another study shows that local business owners are invested in helping build up their communities through redistributing their wealth to local charities.
Why should you try to buy from your local small businesses, and skip the big box stores this holiday season (or always?!)? For one, it creates a more vibrant city!
Think about all your favourite areas in the city. A lot of them are probably lively, have people walking around, and diverse local businesses to meet your various needs. From local coffee shops, to the neighborhood dry-cleaner, all of these businesses add their own little touch to our cities and neighborhoods. The neighborhoods that are often more desirable to live in have more small businesses in them.
Did you know that of Calgary’s total businesses (58,033) in 2017, small business (businesses with less than 50 employees) accounted for 95.3 per cent (or 55,333). That's a big portion of our businesses!⠀
From @businessincalgarymagazine: "'Buying local' has an invaluable domino effect on Calgary jobs, the Calgary community, Calgary arts and culture and recreation, Calgary causes, non-profits and charities and even on intangibles like Calgary’s uniqueness and character.” (Source)
Have you ditched plastic straws out of fear of pollution? Corporations are responsible for the majority of toxic emissions these days, but one of the easiest ways to show you care about the environment and our planet is to spend your money with local businesses, as they tend to pollute a lot less than big corporations.
Local businesses pollute 15x less than big corporations (Source).
Keep reducing, reusing, and recycling, but when you have to buy new, buy local!
We’ve already mentioned a few stats, but today we’re focusing on small businesses and their contributions to employment! Nationally, they are our largest employers, with 69.7% Canadians being employed by a small business, and 74% of Albertans.
That means either you, or someone you know, works for a small business! When small businesses close, lots of people are affected, not just the business owner.
That’s why it’s so important to shop local this holiday season: so many businesses are relying on Christmas sales to get them through this uncharted time. With your support, not only do business owners thrive, but their employees do as well!
Small businesses are much more invested in their communities than big corporations. Studies have shown that these small businesses have shown investment in customer’s lives, the neighbourhoods they’re based in, and the economies of the cities they are in. Local restaurants spend 3x more locally than big chains, and local businesses spend 25% of their revenue back into their local economies! (Source)
By supporting small businesses, you are also investing in your community, creating more strength in your local cities!
Shopping local is super hot on everyone’s list these last few years (yay!) but what happens when you can’t afford to shop local? We totally understand that being able to afford local prices over the big consumer shops like Amazon or Walmart is a privilege, and all we’re advocating for is helping out where you can! If you have that privilege, use it.
Many of us are suffering financially, especially this year as the pandemic has affected our income. Consider buying less, but more local if you can. It's not about the quantity of gifts we give, but the quality and impact each one makes!
We appreciate each and every one of you who is able to help support our community financially during this extra tough holiday season by shopping locally, but do not fret if you’re unable to this time! There should be no shame if shopping local is something that isn't in your reach.
Some things you can do to support local, without spending money:
- Share local products to you social feeds! You may not be able to purchase them, but by sharing their products you are increasing their exposure to your followers! Maybe someone will get some inspiration of where to shop for something for you... 🙃
- Sharing your favourite business's feed posts to your story also helps them gain more visibility through the Instagram algorithm. Share, share!
- Leave them a review! It doesn't take much time, but can make a huge difference for a business. Leaving reviews on their Google business page, Facebook page, or Yelp page can help them become more visible on search engines, and help other potential customers decide if they would like to purchase from that business.
- Comment on their posts and interact with them! Retweet, tag your friends in the comment, or leave a nice comment about why you love them. Not only does this also help the social algorithms, but it helps boost the business owners confidence. We can all use a little encouragement and love!