We've heard it more than ever over the past two years: our support of local businesses can make all the difference on whether or not they continue to operate. This holiday season, we urge you to take your Christmas List to a local shop or Christmas Market instead of a chain, as the benefits are far greater than you may realize.
Did you know? For every $100 spent in a local shop, $46 of that goes back into the local economy! Compared with only $18 at a chain store and then there is...Amazon which leads to almost no kickback to your local community.
In Canada, local businesses recirculate 2.6 times more revenue back into the local economy than multi-national chains. Local businesses typically buy marketing, accounting, legal, maintenance and other services from other local businesses, creating a ripple effect of spending locally.
It is clear just how much impact small changes in our spending habits can have, when you consider a 1% increase in local spending can generate 3100 jobs and $94 million in wages in B.C.
Local businesses tend to sell locally-made items and purchase from local artisans, vendors & crafters - something we pride ourselves on at FILL. As much as possible, we source from local producers, further enhancing our local economic benefit. We have found that time and time again, our customers AND staff prefer our local products and feel good knowing their purchase is supporting a local entity.
Further to the substantial economic benefits to shopping in locally owned businesses, there are often environmental benefits as well that can go unnoticed.
For instance, the tendency of local businesses to obtain professional services and source more products locally means less transportation emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.
When you shop local, versus driving to a larger city to shop in a big box store, you'll find you are reducing your own transportation carbon emissions! Perhaps you can even walk or cycle to a local business and go completely zero emissions, now that is WIN-WIN for the economy and the environment!
When you look at your local school's silent auction fundraiser, there is a reason a vast majority of the donated items came from local businesses - they give back on average 5 times more to groups in the local community than chains do.
"Small businesses help cultivate trust between citizens, while large chains and e-commerce tend to foster anonymity. Trust between citizens is a vital part of a healthy community and is built through reciprocal relationships that are fostered in places like local businesses, where individuals encounter each other and exchange goods and services. In regular face-to-face interactions, trust is built, and trust helps to nurture neighbourliness" (CNN Business, 2020).
Not sure what to get in terms of product? A gift card or gift certificate to your favourite locally-owned store or restaurant can be just the thing!
Speaking of local businesses, here are just a few of our favourites in our local area with a great selection of (locally-made) gift ideas this holiday season:
- OKANAGAN SPIRITS DISTILLERY
- FARMSTRONG CIDER (Check out their upcoming Christmas Market!)
- PLANET BEE HONEY FARM & HONEYMOON MEADERY
- COTTONS CHOCOLATES
- TEASSENTIAL TEAS
- RATIO COFFEE & PASTRY
- RAIL TRAIL CAFE & MARKET
- OKAZON MARKETPLACE (Online)
- OLIVE US
- BACK TO EARTH
- VERNON FARMER'S MARKET
- CAMBIUM CIDERY
- THE ROOM COLLECTION
- TRIUMPH COFFEE
RAVEN HAIR SALON
For a complete database of Okanagan businesses with a Zero Waste focus, visit www.GreenOkanagan.org.
We encourage you to share your love for all things local this December, and year round for that matter! As you can see benefits to your local community while purchasing items made right in your own neighbourhood.
Check out this wonderful infographic outlining all of the benefits from shopping local!