Supporting your local small businesses directly benefits not only those businesses and the community, but you as well!
Think of buying local like this:
You are a boat driver and are picking up a bottle of wine before dinner. There are two wines for you to choose from. One is a local Canadian wine from the Okanagan and one is from California. Both are priced at $24 and both are sold in BC.
If you buy the Okanagan wine, that $24 goes to the liquor store owner, who pays the distributor, who pays the winemaker, who pays his vineyard farmers, who go out to eat at a local seafood restaurant with their families. The seafood restaurant uses that same $24 to pay the local fishery, who pays their boat drivers, who support their families. You are that family.
With the California wine, that $24 goes to the liquor store owner, who pays the distributor, who pays the importer, who pays the wholesaler. Ultimately, part of that $24 will leave BC to pay the businesses that brought the wine into Canada. Import/export businesses are often owned by many different shareholders and a portion of the $24 is then put into global financial markets.
With the Okanagan wine, when you consciously buy and spend local, that money exponentially multiplies in the local economy. This is called the Multiplier Effect and it’s all about minimizing the degrees of separation. Local economic activity can be triggered by the purchase of just a single item!
Not to negate the importance of country-country global trade, but during this time of economic hardship, let’s shift our focus to circulating wealth and elevating income and jobs within our communities!
Now as per the shipping theme in our last blog, not to throw Amazon under the bus or anything, but here’s a little fact about how Amazon runs their business and handles shipping and returns in Canada:
“According to CBC Marketplace, the tactic of enticing customers to buy more and return what they don’t want has had tragic repercussions for the environment and businesses.
On Amazon Canada, third party sellers are given two options when a customer returns a product: either pay a fee to have it shipped back to them or pay Amazon to choose how to dispose of the return by selling, recycling, donating or destroying it. It is estimated that US$400 billion worth of merchandise is returned to retailers every year, which generates 5 billion pounds of waste directed to landfills in the US alone.
If the product is resold, it could travel over 1000kms to reach its new home. The long trail of emissions from trucks, trains, and planes that carry the product back to the retailer and then out again contributes to climate change.” - The Rose Company, Instagram post 19/10/2020.
So to stretch our previous point, for the upcoming holiday season support local small businesses as much as possible! If you’re out shopping and get hungry, go to a local restaurant and tip your server. Pay for shipping if you purchase online, and buy only what you need. This will directly support your community and support real peoples dreams (they may even be your closest friends and family)! VOTE WITH YOUR $$$!
Back to a quick note on shipping... courier services have had to decrease the amount of workers in enclosed spaces and have being dealing with a substantial increase in parcel volumes due to Covid-19. There is a massive Christmas shopping crunch expected and shipping services have been asking Canadians to shop earlier this holiday season to avoid overwhelming the system and potentially disappointing customers with late packages. If you’re going to shop online, do so now to avoid the bulk of holiday shipping being squeezed into a tight window right before the holidays. Help these essential workers out, they deserve it :)
TIPS ON HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES:
1. Buy giftcards! Lump sums purchases as seen with gift cards can really help out businesses and is a nice guarantee of future customers and interest!
2. Check in with a local business you used to frequent to find out what their new normal is. For example, if you went to a gym that is now closed due to Covid, they might be offering online yoga classes!
And for ways that you can help at no cost to you at all...
3. Comment and share on social media. It can help out incredibly! If you don’t have the means to buy anything, your comment can help grow their reach to someone who can! Write reviews, follow on social media, give shoutouts, sign up for newsletters and signal boost if you find a brand or company you support.
4. Comment your favourite small local business(es) below for others to see and check out as many as you can!