We get it.
The explosion of online retail has made holiday shopping from the big guys (with a few simple clicks of a mouse) more enticing than ever.
BUT – shopping like this doesn’t really bring your city or neighbourhood much love. So if you’re going to give this season, think about giving back to where you live.
Here are 9 reasons to shop local for the holidays.
1. You’re Contributing to the Vibrancy of Your Neighbourhood
Imagine how dull your neighbourhood would be without your favourite little restaurant, go-to boutique, yoga studio, or trendy little neighbourhood coffee shop. It’s the small businesses, local restaurants, and shops that give urban neighbourhoods their distinct feel. In turn, it’s these distinct neighbourhoods that make your city as a whole so colourful and diverse.
2. You’re Helping the Local Economy
Local businesses are likely to shop with other local businesses, keeping money pumping through the local economy. Local profits mean an increase in your city’s wealth, tax revenue, and subsequent standard of living. The more we invest, the more we get back in terms of local services, development, and improvement.
3. You’re Investing in Your Community
Not only does local tax revenue benefit the community, local businesses are more likely than the big players to directly support local charities (they’re who make those silent auctions so great), schools, hockey teams, and community events. Less red tape makes it easy for merchants to do so, and they are just as invested in the city as you are.
4. Your Gifts Are More Unique
A gift purchased through a local merchant is much more unique than your typical Pottery Barn or Tiffany and Co. option. When it comes to gift giving, this means that the person on your list is less likely to already own what you’ve chosen for them and you look like you put a little more thought into the decision in the first place.
5. You’re Supporting a Culture of Entrepreneurship
With everything from small business incubators to crowd fundraising platforms, not to mention the growing number of success stories, entrepreneurship looks more attractive than ever. Seeing small businesses – whether a yoga and wellness studio, a Cafe, or a boutique – thrive (which can only happen with our support), will only fuel the ambitions of the next generation of young entrepreneurs. More entrepreneurs and small businesses means more jobs and revenue will circulate throughout the city.
6. You’ll Enjoy Better Customer Service
When you shop small, you get to interact with the owners directly (instead of Scott from Best Buy who’s working over his university break), who are the decision makers and genuinely want to maintain a personable relationship with their customers for that very reason. This makes them more responsive to customer feedback, demands, and customized services. Not to mention, they’re experts on their products and know exactly what they’re selling.
7. You’re Helping the Environment
Local business typically rely on local suppliers, avoiding long journeys in transport, therefore, they leave less of an environmental footprint. Not to mention, smaller businesses are better able to control their own environmental standards and practices directly.
8. You’re Contributing to a Stable Economy
Of course, small businesses are always a challenge, and we’re all aware of those restaurants that close their doors within the first year of operation. But local businesses contribute to a stable economy because they are less susceptible to national downturns and more likely to fight harder to stay open to establish roots that last for the next generation. A marketplace of hundreds of small businesses across the city inspires healthy competition and innovation.
9. You Have More Choice
Shopping small means that you have more in terms of variety – and we all love to have options. An ample collection of small businesses, each with its own specially curated selection of products, means more product choices when it comes to gift-giving this season. And that’s why we suggest you start now…
For a directory of small businesses in your community, check out Shop-Local.
Cover photo from: istock.com