"Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs."
Shopping local is crucial for economic sustainability. Shopping locally supports members of your community…the same people who often support local community events and fundraisers. These are the people who provide jobs and keep our community vibrant and healthy.
Shopping local also means traveling less, resulting in less pollution and traffic congestion. Did you know that many items available at big box stores and major retail chains in Halifax are also available right here in the Annapolis Valley? Prices may be a few dollars more (since smaller stores have less purchasing power over big box stores), but by the time you buy fuel to travel to Halifax and purchase your meals in the city, you’ve likely already spent your “savings”. Save yourself the time spent driving, in traffic, and in long line-ups and shop local instead!
Taken from green UPGRADER, here are 10 excellent reasons to make a conscious shift towards shopping local:
1. Local Economic Stimulus.
When you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base.
2. Non Profits Receive Greater Support.
Local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners.
3. Unique Businesses Create Character & Prosperity.
The unique character of your local community is defined in large part by the business that reside there, and that plays a big factor in your overall satisfaction with where you live and the value of you home and property.
4. Environmental Impact Is Reduced.
Small local businesses usually set up shop in the town/village center, providing a centralized variety that is much friendlier to a community's walk score than out of town shopping malls. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
5. Most New Jobs Are Provided By Local Businesses.
Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally. Plus the more jobs you have in your local community the less people are going to have to commute which means more time and less traffic and pollution.
6. Customer Service Is Better.
Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service. You are also going to see these people around town and they are less likely to blow you off or be rude because they have to face you day after day.
7. Local Business Owners Invest In Community.
Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community's welfare and future.
8. Public Benefits Far Outweigh Public Costs.
Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure and more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores.
9. Competition And Diversity Leads To More Consumer Choices.
A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. You Matter More.
We talk a lot about exerting influence with your purchasing choices, or "voting with your wallet." It's a fact that businesses respond to their customers but your values and desires are much more influential to your local community business than the large big box stores.