As we steadily march along into the busiest season of the year (yes, even in a pandemic!), you may hear family members over zoom, friends on the telephone, or neighbours at a safe distance mentioning that they are committing to buying locally made items and products this year. For my family, the holiday season usually means a trip to the big box stores for a ‘one and done’ approach to holiday shopping. Sadly, last year that kind of quick and dirty shopping showed my family that there isn’t much difference in products bought at the big box stores – especially when my brother and I bought my mom the same teakettle and teacup set! This holiday season we’ve decided that we want to have a truly unique holiday, with items that we’ve never seen before, or may not have even thought of when we started making our lists! We’ve challenged ourselves to shop from local small businesses only. But why commit to shopping local? Here’s what’s happening when you support small businesses in your community.
The money you would usually be giving to a big box store for your holiday shopping practically disappears into thin air! Studies have shown, when you shop at the typical big box store only 43% of that money makes it back into the community. When you shop local, more of the money you spend will be kept in Guelph. Backing small businesses means building a stronger community! Shopping local also shows that you’re embracing and supporting what makes your community unique. Especially in this time of uncertainty, building a strong community is more important than ever!
Another benefit of shopping from local small business means that you’re helping to create local jobs. One major downfall of the pandemic is that it has forced so many of our community members out of their steady means of employment. By supporting small businesses in Guelph, you help create higher-paying jobs for your friends and neighbours. You’re showing your fellow community members that not only do you value them as a neighbor, but you value what they do for the community. To further help the community, buying local also helps protect the environment. Purchasing from local businesses helps to conserve energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation and less packaging being used in shipping (especially when you opt for local delivery or pickup!). Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong— in your community!
Local business owners know you, and you know them. Backing your friends and neighbors in their business ventures is just another step that the Guelph Community can make to creating a tight-knit city that supports it local businesses, creators, makers and artists. Furthermore, just like with what we’ve been busy with at Guelph Market, studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of chains!
This year we urge you to shop local! Buying locally strengthens communities. Local purchases keep the wealth in our neighborhoods and increase the prosperity for the people around us instead of going to a far-away corporation. Happy Holidays from all of us at Guelph Market to all of our friends, family members and coworkers across our beautiful city of Guelph!
- written by Jill Doyle, Guelph Market's Publicist and owner of Craftwitch Stitch