Shop Local

Shop local campaigns create a sense of community and encourage residents to think about what’s available in their neighbourhood. Shopping locally is good for everyone. Why? Research shows that a dollar spent at a locally owned store is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community. By contrast, a dollar spent at a national chain store results in 80% of that dollar leaving the neighbourhood immediately*.

Revitalizing main street takes a community effort! It’s not hard to convince people to shop local because everyone loves walkable streets. Bumping into friends and neighbours, or recognizing a familiar face is part of the pleasure. Often people get stuck in routines – driving to the mall or big box store may have become the norm. Look for ways to inspire residents to visit the shops around the corner! Create a free community blog and/or community Facebook Page or Twitter account and start spreading the word about what to do and where to shop in your ‘hood. Here’s a folder of materials we have developed through amazing volunteers!

Need more reasons to support locally owned businesses? Read on. Think about how to promote local shopping in your community and make use of any free promo ideas.

Ten Reasons to Shop Local

 

1. JOB AND WAGES
Locally owned businesses create jobs in the neighbourhood and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

 

2. COMPETITION
A marketplace of many small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long term.

 

3. PRODUCT DIVERSITY
A multitude of neighbourhood-based small businesses, each selecting products based on their knowledge of the needs of their local customers, not on the decision of some distant executive and a national sales plan, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

 

4. PROTECT LOCAL CHARACTER AND PROSPERITY
Local main streets offer an eclectic mix of shops — some with a long tradition in the area, some brand new. By choosing to support locally owned businesses, you help maintain our diversity and distinctive flavour.

 

5. KEEPING DOLLARS IN THE LOCAL ECONOMY
Dollars spent in locally owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through property tax, invest in neighbourhood improvement and promote community development.

 

6. COMMUNITY WELL-BEING
Locally owned businesses build strong neighbourhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbours, and by contributing more to local causes.

 

7. LOCAL DECISION MAKING
When the businesses in an area are locally owned, the important decisions are made locally, by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

 

8. PUBLIC BENEFITS AND COSTS
Local stores along main streets require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big-box stores and strip malls.

 

9. ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Entrepreneurship fuels North America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

 

10. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable neighbourhoods, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

Sample Shop Local Promotional Materials:

Ten Reasons article adapted and reprinted with permission of Stacy Mitchell, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance and StayLocal.org.

*Cited from Northwest Earth Institute for Sustainable Living.