As we approach mid-January and retailers everywhere are grasping for new and innovative ideas to get people to shop, I think it might be time to remind the buying public why it's important to shop local and to support their favourite businesses...even in January! There's so much information out there about how to pinch a penny, get a discount, shop "smart" and save money, but I haven't seen too much written about why it's important to shop at and support local, independent businesses. The most recent article I read with 'shop savvy' tips suggested that you always ask for a discount, or why not shop online to avoid pesky shopkeepers?
Well, here are a few reasons I found on the Vancouver-based Modern Urban Guides website
"WHY SHOP LOCAL?
* Find unique and original products that reflect your individuality.
* Receive personalized customer service.
* Support the local economy – when you shop locally more money stays in the community.
* Help the environment – the impact is less when shopping locally.
* Discover the community – its people & neighbourhoods
Having been in retail for almost 10 years, I've met a lot of small business owners and I'd say the majority of reasons given for jumping off the cliff and going it alone are
- passion - whether it be for the product or the service provided,
- a need to fill a niche,
- a desire to be creative
- a need to give back
- wanting to be independent
These people create the diverse and eclectic communities and neighbourhoods that we all love to spend time in. They also shop and pay taxes in these same communities.
We can't just give them lip service while heading off to the city or the local big box store for a bulk buying spree. Let's put our money where it does the most good. Shop local - it does a body (and your community) good!