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Why buy local?
When you consider your shopping habits, where do you shop mostly? Do you shop online, head to downtown to shop at chain stores or do you prefer your local shops? While online and chain stores have their place, at Made in CA we think we should all do more of our shopping locally and there are several reasons for that..
Your money stays in your community
Do you know where your money goes when you buy online or from large chain stores? It gets distributed, often unevenly, between the various people involved in the supply chain. Only some of that money will stay local via the employees’ salaries.
However, when you buy from local shops, much more of what you spend will stay and benefit your local community. On average, 70% of the money spent at local shops on local products will stay in the community.
The taxes from local businesses benefit the community
The tax money from local businesses ends up back in the community. When local businesses pay taxes, the money goes to improve the local facilities. It is spent on schools, creating more and maintaining existing green spaces, improving public transport and providing free health care.
Local businesses help create new jobs
Local businesses provide locals with job opportunities and their share of the labour force is a lot bigger than you might expect. According to the Government of Canada, small businesses employ 8.4 million people which is nearly 70% of the total private labour force.
So when you shop locally, you are contributing to a healthy employment rate in the area.
You can reduce your carbon footprint
When you buy local products from local businesses, you are reducing your carbon footprint. Because many products sold at local shops or used in local cafes and restaurants are sourced closer to home, there is less damage to the environment from transporting the goods.
Small producers are also more likely to have more environmentally friendly practises such as crop rotation. This is a practice of growing different crops in the same area over a sequence of growing seasons. Rotating crops reduces the need to use pesticides and fertilizers.
Know more about what you are buying
When you buy, for example, meat or milk from a large supermarket chain, do you know where the product came from? How far it travelled from and how it was grown? When you buy locally, the sellers are likely to be able to give you all that information.
They can tell you more about the producers, the makers and the designers, so you are better informed about what you are spending your money on.
All Canadian provinces and territories have an agreed minimum wage and more businesses than ever are committed to paying their employees at least a livable wage. A livable wage is the wage a person needs to live comfortably in an area and it is often higher than the minimum wage.
When you buy local produce and services from local businesses, you know everyone involved in the supply chain will have received at least a minimum wage. The same cannot be guaranteed when buying products manufactured by large international corporations.
Creating the local landscape
Local people create local businesses, and therefore the businesses reflect the local community. They help to shape the look and the atmosphere of the area. They contribute to the creation of a vibrant local community.
Areas where all shopping has concentrated at large malls or retail districts with chain stores, are often soulless and without a community feel. A healthy high street is a sign of a healthy local community.
Giving back to the local community
Although there are many large corporations that are involved in charity work, the impact is rarely seen at a local level. Small businesses are more likely to contribute to local charities. They often also sponsor or host local events to bring people together and contribute to the wellbeing of the community.
Small businesses are vital for local communities. They provide work, bring people together and help to create a vibrant and happy community. So next time you go shopping, think local first.
This piece was a Sponsored piece from MadeinCA.ca.